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Bobsleigh champ Heather Moyse to skip rugby World Cup

Canada’s Kaillie Humphries and Heather Moyse react to winning gold February 19, 2014 in the women’s bobsled competition at the Sochi Games.

John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail

Olympic bobsleigh champion Heather Moyse says she won't compete at the women's rugby World Cup this summer.

The 35-year-old from Summerside was leading scorer at the 2006 World Cup and tied for most tries at the 2010 tournament.

She was fourth in bobsleigh with pilot Helen Upperton at the 2006 Winter Olympics, and won gold at the 2010 Games with pilot Kaillie Humphries.

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The two defended their title on Wednesday, overtaking a rival American sled during the last run.

Moyse also earned a place on the Canadian team for the 2012 Pan American road and track cycling championships, after taking up the sport as part of her injury rehab following a broken ankle at the 2010 rugby World Cup.

Her Olympic triumph in Sochi followed hip surgery in November, 2012.

"There's a lot of talk about both," she said Thursday of her future in rugby and cycling. "I know for sure that I won't be playing rugby this summer [the World Cup is Aug. 1 to 17]. … With this whole rehab and everything, I just need a bit of a break.

"I'm also the kind of person where I love those challenges, but I love them because I always put a time crunch on them. And it's so intense that as soon as it's done, I just need to step away and regroup and kind of breathe again before I start missing it. And before I take that break and go: 'I wonder if I can do that again?'

"Which is why I'll probably never officially retire from anything, because who knows whether I'll be back again."

While Moyse said she is excited to see what options lie ahead, her immediate future does not extend to the field of sport.

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"You can't really underestimate the power of an Olympic gold medal, let alone two, and so I think especially going into this spring and summer, I just want to use this opportunity as a platform to go in and use it as inspiration and motivation," she said. "And go in and educate whether that's at the corporate level or schools … just talk about those obstacles, talk about challenges, talking about believing, what you can accomplish and the possibilities. Both just looking at our four [Sochi bobsleigh] runs but also just looking at my whole last year and a half."

Humphries called Moyse "one of those freak athletes," joking if she has to beg for her bobsleigh help in four years, she'll do so. "I will be begging and we will see what happens," the pilot said with a laugh.

Another future option for Moyse are the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, where rugby sevens will be part of the program for the first time.

Moyse returned to the women's sevens side last March, playing at a tournament in Amsterdam.

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