BY BRIAN POUND
BURNABY—When Markham, Ontario’s, Phylicia George began competitive running at age 15, little did she realize that 16 years later she would stand on an Olympic podium. In a different sport, in a different Olympic Games.
Teamed with Calgary’s Kaillie Humphries, the duo captured the bronze medal in two-woman bobsleigh at the 2018 Winter Olympics at Pyeong Chang. Phylicia never saw it coming.
“Just two weeks after the 2017 IAAF World Championships, I was approached by Kaillie and asked if I would be interested in teaming with her for the two-woman bobsleigh event,” George said. It sounded intriguing so off to Calgary for training she went. Oh yes, she was also told she would have to build up her body by 20 pounds. The new weight and training paid off though as in January 2018, just months later, the new duo won the gold medal in a bobsleigh event in Altenberg, Germany, and a silver in Konigssee. Then came that bronze at the Olympics, making her only one of four Canadian women in modern times to compete in both the Summer and Winter Olympics.
Will they compete again as a team at the 2022 Beijing Winter Games? “It’s a possibility,” said George, “but at the moment I’m revaluating it all. My goal for the future is to make the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics, which will make it four Olympics for me, and to compete at this year’s IAAF World Championships. She made the final of the 100-metre hurdles at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics.
Another stop in her quest continued Thursday night as she entered two races at the 36th annual Vancouver Sun Harry Jerome International Track Classic at Swangard Stadium, the 100-metres and 100-metre hurdles.
She won the hurdles in 13.23 seconds and was just beaten in the 100, finishing in 11.58 seconds.
“I liked my performances,” she said,”but I’m still trying to find my rhythm. “I was little more tired than I thought having just 23 minutes between events.”
The personable 31-year-old says she’s accomplished one goal this year, making the World Championship qualifying time for the hurdles. “I ran 12.90 on June 16 in Poland,”she said, “and the standard is 12.98.” Her season best in the 100-metres is 11.47, the World qualifying time is 11.24 seconds.
From the Jerome, George plans to return to Europe and then come home for the Canadian Championships, July 25-28 in Montreal and the Pan American Games, July 26-August 11, in Lima, Peru.
She plans to run both the 100-metres and 100-metre hurdles at the National championships.