Canada slides to silver in luge team relay

Women's bronze medallist Alex Gough leads team to podium redemption

By CBC Sports

Canada's luge relay team found Olympic redemption Thursday in Pyeongchang, South Korea, with a silver-medal finish.

Veteran singles sliders Alex Gough, Sam Edney, and doubles duo Tristan Walker and Justin Snith fell just short of the podium four years ago in Sochi, Russia, but made no mistake this time — posting a combined time of 2 minutes 24.872 seconds to finish behind the Germans. Austria was third.

"I couldn't ask for a more amazing team to be a part of in this experience," Edney said. "Super proud of these three, and our entire program. It's something we've worked so hard for."

VIDEO | Canada's luge relay medal was 4 years in the making

The fourth-place result in Sochi had been bumped up to third in the wake of the Russian doping scandal. Two of the Russian foursome were among the athletes stripped of their 2014 results, but the Canadians were once again pushed back to fourth following the Court of Arbitration for Sport's recent decision to overturn the punishment for some of those competitors.

"It shows the strength of our team. That fuelled us. That fuelled us for a long time," Edney said. "I just know that we put in all the hard work and we did everything right. Tonight was about sliding for each other and sliding for Canada, and we did that."

Earlier in the week, Gough claimed the country's first individual luge medal with a bronze in the women's singles. Edney was sixth in the men's event, while Walker and Snith finished fifth in doubles. 

VIDEO | Canada's luge team emotional after winning silver

In the team relay, the women's slider goes first, followed by the men's racer and the doubles partners, with each striking the finish pad at the bottom of the track to signal the run has been completed.

"It's incredible," Gough said. "The first one was awesome, but to get to come out here and race it with these guys ... it's such an amazing feeling to do it in a team format.

"I wanted it so bad for them. I put together the best run I could. They followed it up and we got the redemption from four years ago."

Edney has said he will retire after these Games and Gough seems likely to follow suit. This marks the fourth Games for Edney and Gough, who both hail from Calgary.  

Three-time Olympians Walker, of Cochrane, Alta., and Snith, of Calgary, indicated their futures remain up in the air. 

Prior to Gough's bronze earlier this week, Canada had failed to win a luge medal at every Games since making its debut in the sport in 1968.

With files from The Canadian Press