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Embyr-Lee Susko of Whistler earns double gold at Canadian Luge Championships

Other Whistlerites to win medals included Natalie Corless in the senior event and Midori Holland in the U21 race

Embyr-Lee Susko took another step forward in her sliding career with two victories at the 2023 Canadian Luge Championships.

On March 5, the Whistler native made it down her home track twice in a combined time of one minute, 18.059 seconds—enough to prevail in head-to-head contention against established senior national teamers like Natalie Corless, Kailey Allan, Trinity Ellis and Caitlin Nash. 

Fellow Whistlerite Corless earned the silver medal (1:18.387), and bronze went to Allan of Calgary, Alta. (1:18.391). Ellis, from Pemberton, finished fourth (1:18.462) and Nash, of Whistler, found herself in seventh (1:18.703). 

Meanwhile, three Calgarians stood atop the men’s podium: Theo Downey in first (1:42.148), Bastian Van Wouw in second (1:43.387) and Billy Borger in third (1:44.295). 

“I was pretty happy with my race,” said the 17-year-old Susko. “I was able to put down two clean runs, two good starts, and that’s kind of all it takes in luge sometimes. 

“I was just pretty stoked, and it really brings up my confidence a bit to be winning a race in an age category a couple groups up [from my own], which was really cool. So overall, it was just super fun to race with all of my awesome friends and teammates.”

Meanwhile, Ellis and Nash were generally pleased with their efforts but know that they have much more to give. 

“I was happy with my performance in the race. I had two of my best starts and two really good runs,” said Ellis, 20, who raced to 14th at her inaugural Olympic Games in Beijing. “I wasn't super stoked on my placement [on Sunday], but I was happy with what I did and I knew I put everything out there.” 

“I pulled some start times that I was proud of and put down two solid runs,” commented Nash, 19. “The outcome was a little bit disappointing, and not what we're looking for at this point in the season, but that's racing.” 

Susko broke through again on March 10 in the U21 race (1:18.219). This time, Whistler’s Midori Holland finished second (1:18.562) and Allan ended up third once more (1:18.572). 

Nash placed fifth (1:18.807) and Ellis sixth (1:18.846) in what was the season finale for them both. Susko will race again on March 12 in the youth events.

Downey, Van Wouw and Borger comprised the men’s U21 medallists, finishing in the same order they did on Sunday.