Christine de Bruin poses with her bronze medal in front of Olympic ringsMark Blinch/COC
Mark Blinch/COC

Consistency pays off for de Bruin with historic monobob bronze

She’s been called Mrs. Consistency. Now she can be called something else: an Olympic medallist.

Christine de Bruin won the first-ever Olympic bronze medal in women’s monobob on Day 10. She put up similarly strong times in all four heats and was sitting in a podium position at the end of each of them.

“It means a lot,” said de Bruin of her medal-winning performance. “It’s sweet, it’s insane, I don’t even know what to say right now. It’s so surreal at the moment.”

Wide shot of Christine de Bruin's bobsled on track with snowy mountains in background
Team Canada’s Christine de Bruin competes in the women’s bobsleigh monobob third heat during the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games on Monday, February 14, 2022. Photo by Mark Blinch/COC

The 33-year-old was in second after the first two heats on Day 9, but lost a bit of time in the third and fourth heats, eventually being surpassed for silver by Elana Meyers Taylor of the United States.

“The only thing I could have done a little bit better is my push, that’s the one that’s got me into the third place instead of the second place position,” said de Bruin. “I just need to keep on working on making my push a little bit faster, and then I’ll be right up there.”

This is de Bruin’s second appearance at the Olympic Winter Games, having placed seventh in the two-woman event at PyeongChang 2018 alongside Melissa Lotholz. But she relished the opportunity to showcase her skills in a different setting this time around.

“I really wanted to prove that I really am one of the best drivers in the world,” she said. “With monobob you really can show that, because we all have the same sled. It’s really easy to say whoever is the best will do the best.”

Front shot of Christine de Bruin driving bobsled into finish area
Team Canada’s Christine de Bruin wins bronze in the women’s monobob event during the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games on Monday, February 14, 2022. Photo by Mark Blinch/COC

Looking ahead to the two-woman

De Bruin will be back at the Yanqing National Sliding Centre later this week, pairing up with Kristen Bujnowski in the two-woman event, in the hopes of carrying the monobob momentum forward.

“I have a really good understanding of the track and with Buj my brakewoman behind me, we have a very competitive push,” she said. “Put the two together and we should have a great result.”

But de Bruin isn’t the only Canadian looking ahead from the monobob to the two-woman. Cynthia Appiah came into the monobob with high hopes in her first Olympic Games, but couldn’t recover from a rocky Heat 1 and wound up finishing eighth.

Cynthia Appiah drives her monobob on the ice track
Team Canada’s Cynthia Appiah takes part in women’s Monobob training during the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games on Thursday, February 10, 2022. Photo by Darren Calabrese/COC

“I’m still learning, I’m still a new driver. I have to really take that into consideration,” said Appiah, who transitioned from brakewoman to pilot four years ago after being an alternate at PyeongChang 2018. “I know I had high expectations given the World Cup season I had, and I had a damn good World Cup season. So I am a little disappointed that I fell short of my goals, but this is just going to make me hungrier for the two-woman event.”

Looking beyond these Games, de Bruin believes that the introduction of monobob will help increase not just gender parity, but competitive parity among nations competing in this sport.

“It will be a really good thing,” she said. “For some of the nations that are not able to do two-man, mostly because they have to get more people involved, it’s just more expensive — this is kind of a stepping stone to getting more women involved in bobsleigh.”