Sliders still dominating
2010 Olympic gold medallist and reigning world champ Kaillie Humphries is on a streak unmatched in the sport of Bobsleigh after winning her sixth consecutive event and her third in a row this season with rookie brakeman Chelsea Valois.
Humphries, from Calgary, teamed up with Valois of Zenon Park, Saskatchewan to win the World Cup in Whistler on Friday night by posting a combined time of 1:48.68.
The venue is all too familiar for Humphries as the site is the same one where she won her 2010 medal with then partner Heather Moyse. Humphries and her new partner have been excelling on Canadian and American tracks in 2012 — something they hope to continue when the World Cup moves to European soil.
“The North American tracks like me and I like them too,” said Humphries. “I did think there was potential to get off to this start – especially seeing the tons of potential that Chelsea has shown all along. We have lots of work still to do but we are on the right track.”
For the 25-year-old Valois, the opportunity to be paired up with an Olympic champion has been an unreal experience. Valois had never each touched a bobsled until August of 2012 and she is now undefeated in her young career.
Since teaming up with the 27-year-old Humphries, Valois has captured a Canadian Championship and three straight World Cup gold medals.
“I do have to pinch myself,” laughed Valois. “I didn’t know what to expect when I joined the sport, but I knew by making Kaillie’s team I’d have some success.”
Rush, Brown step up to podium
Canadian men also proudly stood on the podium in Whistler as the two-man team of Olympic pilot Lyndon Rush and Olympic brakeman Lascelles Brown captured silver for their first World Cup medal of the 2012-2013 season.
The duo has had a lot of success in the past, including teaming up at the 2010 Vancouver Games to capture a bronze medal in the four-man event, but this was the first for the Canadian-duo since Brown returned to the program after a brief hiatus competing for Monaco.
“I’m happy to be back and I think Lyndon did a fantastic job today,” said Brown following the flower ceremony under the lights at the 2010 Olympic venue. “He wanted to win, but to me, finishing second is a fantastic job. We can get better because he is a fantastic driver.”
Reid rockets to another medal
In Skeleton, 25-year-old Sarah Reid extended her medal streak to two straight World Cups with a silver medal victory on her home track at the Whistler Sliding Centre on Friday.
The 25-year-old Calgarian, who sat in third after the opening run, rocketed her way down the 16-corner, 1,450-metre track in a two-run time of one minute, 51.09 seconds.
“I’m really excited. Coming into this race I had a talk with my coaches about about Salt Lake City because it wasn’t good for me,” said Reid. “I wanted to put some pressure on myself, and set high goals this week, so it is great to touch the podium again.
Gough makes her mark
On the luge track Saturday, another slider kept up the podium consistency for Canadians as two-time Olympian Alex Gough captured bronze in the women’s Luge competition at the Igls, Austria World Cup opener on Saturday.
The 25-year-old Calgarian slid to third spot with a two-run time of 1:19.988.
“I worked very hard this summer to bring the focus back to myself and away from things that I can’t control because I do believe I perform better if that’s where my focus is,” said Gough who capture bronze at the 2012 World Championships earlier this year. “I think last season I started weighing myself down with expectations, but I know if I pull fast starts and have clean runs I can be right there and I was able to do that today.”