Justin Piercy - Tuesday Dec. 17, 2013 13:32 ET

Canada sends medal-contending luge team to Sochi

Final women's spot will come down to race off between 2 athletes

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    Here are the members of Canada's luge team relay squad, a new Olympic event that will see Canada as a medal contender in Sochi. Scroll through the rest of the photos to meet the members of the team. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)

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    With 14 World Cup luge medals to her credit over her career, 26-year-old Alex Gough of Calgary anchors Canada’s medal hopes in the sport in Sochi. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)

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    Canadian Olympic luge team member Sam Edney, from Calgary, reads a new children's book about luge to Grade One students at Olympia Heights School in Calgary, on Oct. 22. (Jeff McIntosh/Canadian Press)

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    Tristan Walker, left, of Cochrane, Alta., and Justin Snith, of Calgary, Alta have been consistent top-10 finishers for Canada in the doubles luge discipline. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)

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    Kimberley McRae, of Calgary, has two top-10 finishes on the World Cup circuit this season. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)

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    Mitchel Malyk, of Calgary, will represent Canada in his first Olympics. He had a top finish of 11th on the World Cup circuit this year. (Martin Meissner/Associated Press)

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    Canada's Arianne Jones captured the final spot on the Olympic luge team by winning a race-off against teammate Jordan Smith. (Kerstin Joensson/Associated Press)

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Canada's hopes of winning it's first-ever Olympic medal in luge will rest on the sleds of seven athletes named to the country's Sochi squad on Tuesday.

The Canadian Luge Association announced the names of two women and five men who will compete at the Winter Olympics in February, and are poised to end the country's luge medal drought.

Calgary's Alex Gough and Kimberley McRae were officially named to the women's team, with Arianne Jones and Jordan Smith, both of Calgary, left to battle it out on the track on Dec. 18-19 in their hometown for the final spot on the women's roster.

Two-time Olympian Sam Edney, Mitchel Malyk and John Fennell, all of Calgary, will compete on the men's side.

Calgary's Justin Snith and Tristan Walker of Cochrane, Alta. are the Canadian doubles entry in Russia.

Gough and her team relay teammates Edney, Snith and Walker are expected to be in contention in Sochi, where the event will make its debut.

The foursome has racked up two World Cup silver medals in team relay this season in just five events, and remains a strong medal threat for Canada.

Gough has had a strong World Cup season thus far, winning two bronze and one silver medal.

“Success breeds success, and now all athletes on our team believe they too can win,” Gough said in a release. 

“My teammates and I are all extremely dedicated. We are now among the world’s best. We are hungry for the podium, and we are fiercely driven to win Canada its first-ever Olympic luge medal.”



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