Technically, the sliding sports fall under two roofs, with bobsleigh and skeleton falling under the FIBT and luge under the FIL. But both sports use the exact same venues and have the same objective — to start fast and steer your way to the bottom of an ice track with the lowest time possible.
Choosing one sport over the other is based on personal preference, as well as age — luge generally insists on starting with younger kids, while skeleton and bobsleigh are more open to accepting older athletes, including luge racers that are looking for something different.
The Gough sisters of Calgary chose differently. Alex Gough, 24, entered the sport of luge, where last season she became the first Canadian to medal, the first to win a race, and the first to earn a medal in the world championship. She started off her season with a bronze and a fourth place finish before heading to Calgary last weekend to defend at her home track — winning her second World Cup gold medal and making Canadian history once again as the first Canadian to win at home and the first Canadian to win two World Cup events.
"I am in shock and awe," she said. "I'm in complete disbelief. This is so incredible.
"The wind was to my advantage tonight. It makes this track tricky, but I train in it all the time so I just stayed focused on what I had to do."
Tatjana Hufner of Germany and Tatiana Ivanova of Russia were second and third respectively. Calgary's Kim McRae was seventh for Canada, Dayna Clay was eighth and Arianne Jones had a tough night to place 22nd.
In men's doubles, the team of Justin Snith and Tristan Walker posted their career-best result in sixth, while Sam Edney cracked the top 10 once again to finish ninth in individual men.
Meanwhile in Winterberg, Germany the other Gough sister Amy, 34, was making history in the sport of skeleton. She placed first, winning her first event.
"It has been a rough week so this feels really good," she said. "It has taken me a long time to get here, but my training went really well this summer and I'm the strongest that I have ever been. Just because I'm older, I think this shows you can't kick me out yet."
Sarah Reid and Melissa Hollingsworth were eighth and 13th respectively.
In the men's race, Mike Douglas was the top Canadian in ninth, with John Fairbairn in 17th.
In men's two-man bobsleigh, Lyndon Rush and Jesse Lumsden in Canada 1 were sixth, while the team of Chris Spring and Derek Plug were ninth in Canada 2.
In women's bobsleigh, Kaillie Humphries and Emily Baadsvik were 10th, while Jenny Ciochetti and Kate O'Brien were 11th.
In four-man bobsleigh, Chris Spring's team placed 10th, while Lyndon Rush's sled was off the pace in 20th.
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