Humphries, Rush headline Canada’s bobsled team
Veteran Canadians loaded for World Cup, Olympics
The Canadian bobsled team will begin the World Cup year loaded with international medals and ready for another Olympic run.
With only 100 days remaining until the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, Bobsleigh Canada announced the national team Wednesday that will be competing in the World Cup season, which kicks off in Calgary, Nov. 24-30.
Bobsleigh Canada will add four spares to the team later this month.
The women and men’s team will be led by Olympic champion Kaillie Humphries, and Olympic bronze medallist Lyndon Rush.
The skeleton team was also announced Wednesday.
“This is arguably one of the strongest amateur sports teams in the country with our athletes having combined to win nearly 250 international medals over the last three Olympic quadrennials,” said Don Wilson, chief executive officer, Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton.“We have an extremely deep program led by a number of veterans that have delivered under the most intense pressure. This group will continue to push each over the next four months, with the ultimate goal of standing on top of the podium in Sochi in February.”
Canada will send five Eurotech sleds to the start line when the FIBT World Cup begins in Calgary in less than four weeks time.
Humphries, Moyse aim for Olympic history
Humphries will reunite with Olympic gold medal-winning brakeman, Heather Moyse of Summerside, P.E.I., for the first time in three years in the Canada 1 sled.
Humphries, 28, brings a medal-winning streak of 13 straight podium finishes that includes 11 victories and two world championship titles into the Olympic year.
In addition, she set a women’s record of eight straight international wins that stretched over two seasons.
She will look to continue her historic run with the powerful Moyse. The 35-year-old and two-time Olympian, has shattered personal best start times, not to mention the start record at the Whistler Sliding Centre during selection races, since rejoining the program this fall.
A second gold medal in Sochi would make Humphries and Moyse the first women to every repeat as Olympic bobsled champions.
“Things are just super easy with Heather,” said Humphries told CBCSports.ca. “She’s an amazing person and an unbelievable athlete. She brings that intensity, she knows high-performance sport and she knows how to get the very best of herself. I think that we match each other. I know I can stand on the [bobsled] line and I don’t have to teach her a thing.”
Edmonton’s Jenny Ciochetti will pilot the Canada 2 women’s sled. Ciochetti, 28, who slid to a personal best sixth place at the World Cup in Sochi, Russia last year, will look for her first podium with one of five women still remaining in the selection process including Chelsea Valois, of Zenon Park, Sask. Valois made history herself last year – becoming the first athlete in the world to finish on the podium in each of her first 10 starts on the international circuit.
Rush to pilot Canada 1
Rush to pilot Canada 1 Olympic and world medallist, Lyndon Rush of Humboldt, Sask., will pilot the Canada 1 crew consisting of: two-time Olympic medallist, Lascelles Brown of Calgary; along with Edmontonians, David Bissett and Neville Wright. Rush and Brown will make up Canada 1 in the two-man event. The duo, along with Jesse Lumsden won the overall World Cup title in that event last year.
One of Canada’s newest citizens, Calgary’s Chris Spring, will partner with Lumsden, of Burlington, Ont., into his two- and four-man sleds this fall.
The Calgary-based duo will join forces with two medal-winning athletes – Ottawa’s Cody Sorensen, and Ben Coakwell, of Saskatoon. Justin Kripps, of Summerland, B.C., will drive the Canada 3 sled on the track to Sochi. Kripps’ crew will include Toronto’s Tim Randall, James MacNaughton, of Newmarket, Ont., and Graeme Rinholm, of Medicine Hat, Alta.