CARLSBAD, Calif. – In February, bobsledder Kaillie Humphries, a Carlsbad resident, made history by doing something no other woman in Olympic history has ever done.

Humphries, who was born in Canada, had previously won three Olympic medals for her native country, but in February brought home a fourth- a gold- for her current country of residence.

It almost didn’t happen, though.

“I prayed and wished with every eyelash that fell out that this was going to come to fruition,” said Humphries in an interview with FOX 5’s Andrew Luria.

In December, the San Diego County resident flew back from the bobsled world championships in Germany to be sworn in as a U.S. citizen, only to fly back to Germany and later win the competition. Without having been sworn in, Humphries would have been ineligible to sled, and eventually win, for the U.S.

“I am the best in the world, I was the best in the world going in but I might not go (to the Olympics) due to immigration and politics in sports,” she said.

So, how did it play out this way? For 16 years, Humphries was a standout for Team Canada, a role in which she would become one of the most decorated bobsledders of all time. However, under the surface, Humphries says there was a lot going on that fans couldn’t see.

“I went through multiple years, but one specific year, of a lot of verbal and mental abuse from my head coach,” the bobsledder said.

So Humphries, whose husband Travis is an American and also a former bobsledder, decided she should take her talents to Team U.S.A.

“It was the most triumphant I’ve felt, the most empowered I have ever felt, ever,” Humphries said of starting from scratch with Team U.S.A. “Just confident in myself that I did the right thing but more so that it all worked out and that I could repay a country.”

But not only have new doors been opened for her, she’s helped open new doors for other women in the sport by advocating for a second bobsledding discipline for women- something men have had since 1932.

For the first time, during the 2022 Olympics, the monobob- a one-person event- was introduced as a competition for female athletes. The event was a win for female bobsledders, including Humphries who took home the gold.

Today, Humphries says her challenges have become her causes, working against bullying in sports and toward equality for women in bobsledding.

“My community has supported me when I needed it and I want to make sure that other people have greater opportunities and I can use my platform to help advocate,” the gold medalist says.

Now 36, the four-time Olympic medalist is looking towards another go to the Olympics when the games return to Italy in 2026. Humphries says the moment will feel full circle as Italy hosted the 2006 games where she got her start as an alternate.

In 2026, however, Humphries hopes to add blue to her previous wardrobe of red and white.