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Joe Cecchini, Micaela Widmer join Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton leadership structure

The two Whistler Sliding Centre coaches will share duties with 2018 Canadian Olympian Kevin Boyer
Whistler’s Sliding Centre is Canada's main venue for sliding sports. It is scheduled to be the site of the world luge championships in 2025

Two experienced Whistler Sliding Centre (WSC) coaches, Joe Cecchini and Micaela Widmer, will join Team Canada veteran Kevin Boyer as part of the new coaching leadership structure for Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton (BCS).

Cecchini will take on a dual role of Head Coach and Technical Lead for the Canadian skeleton program. After beginning his career on Canada’s National Development Team, he competed for Italy at the 2018 Olympics. He has mentored many of Canada’s skeleton athletes over the last two years at the WSC, including young locals like Payton Spence. 

“I have a 20-year career in law enforcement and planned to continue to advance my policing career after my retirement from athletic competition, but my passion for the sport just took over and led me down this path. I love every day I am working with athletes across all sports at all levels,” said Cecchini in a press release. “Skeleton is a unique and exciting sport, but we have recently lacked qualified coaches and leaders in Canada. I am driven to change this, and I will use my skills, experience, and continued education to create stronger leadership, remove barriers, increase access, and continuously look for creative opportunities to grow our sport.”

In his new role, Cecchini will be responsible for coordinating the daily training environment with skeleton athletes, managing training camps, and competing on the World Cup where he will ensure optimal mentorship for the nation’s best.

Widmer, who spent over a decade as a competitive skeleton athlete for both Canada and Switzerland, will provide coaching and logistical support as the National Skeleton Program Team Manager and as a Technical Coach to North American Cup (NAC) development-level athletes. 

Passionate about growing the sport and encouraging female participation, Widmer has teamed up with Cecchini over the last five years as the program lead on all foundational WSC driving schools. She has mentored World Cup athletes and was head coach for Canada at the 2020 Youth Olympic Games.  Widmer is also a former president of the Alberta Skeleton Association.

“This is an exciting opportunity for me to build on the program’s significant progress made to date, and lead this strong, cohesive pool of talented athletes while not losing sight of recruiting and developing the next generation of community heroes,” said Widmer in a release. “We know from our own history that Canadian skeleton athletes can compete, and win against the best in the world while enjoying their journey. Working with the high-performance staff and this team of coaches, it will be my goal to create a belief in the system for this new generation of athletes and coaches that they, too, can achieve their performance goals at all levels of the pathway.”

Finally, Boyer will act as Assistant Technical Coach. The Sherwood Park, Alta. native finished 17th at the Pyeongchang Winter Games and now looks ahead to developing athletes at the World Cup, Europe Cup and NAC in addition to lead coaching responsibilities at the 2024 Youth Olympic Games. 

"I am honoured and excited to begin collaborating with coaches and athletes from across the country to build an effective development pathway,” said Boyer. “Our athlete-centered approach will be rooted in meaningful coach mentorship, well-executed training camps and developmental-appropriate competitive opportunities. As a recently retired athlete, it is my goal to share what I’ve learned and experienced throughout my career to help the younger athletes develop, and our elite level athletes achieve excellence. I really care so much about all of the Canadian athletes and the success of this program so I hope I can play a small role in this team of highly dedicated coaches to help all of the athletes achieve their dreams.”