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Whistler Sliding Centre hosts multiple international events

Canadians showed out at both the skeleton Intercontinental Cup and bobsled North American Cup races hosted at the Whistler Sliding Centre last week
Evan Neufeldt
Evan Neufeldt gets warmed up ahead of one of his runs during an Intercontinental Cup race at the Whistler Sliding Centre last week

Over the past two weeks the Whistler Sliding Centre was host to two different sliding events including the International Bobsled and Skeleton Federation’s (IBSF) bobsled North American Cup and the skeleton Intercontinental Cup.

“I was surprised how many people came, how many countries came, and the sliding was good. We had some great times and some of the Canadians did very well,” said Roger Soane president of the Whistler Sliding Centre.

“You know some of the smaller nations, they use these races as ability to earn points to make it to the Olympics and then the stronger nations, the Canadians the Germans, the Latvians, this really is practising to get them ready until later in the season or for next season. So it was very well attended and good racing.”

One of those smaller nations represented was the Jamaican bobsled team which are currently making the rounds in North America, hoping to gain enough points to qualify for the Olympic Games for the eighth time in the program’s history.

Through the six races between two- and four-man over the week the Jamaican team was here, the men managed to consistently hit the top 10 but weren’t able to make it on to a podium with their best finish being sixth in four-man. Meanwhile the women managed to collect a handful of third, fourth and fifth place finishes in their six events split between two-woman and mono-bobsled.

However, it was the Canadians who stole the show on their home track. In both skeleton and bobsled, Canadians captured a whopping 13 first-place finishes, while only missing the podium in two out of 22 total races.

Alysia Rissling and her two-woman bobsled partner Eden Wilson were the big winners capturing first place in all three of their races. Rissling added three more first place finishes in Mono-bobsled as well.

Meanwhile, the Canadian four- and two-man bobsled teams consisting of Tayler Austin, Chris Patrician, Shaq Murray-Lawrence, Daniel Sunderland and Mark Mlakar were equally successful finishing first in all six of their races with Austin being the lone slider participating in all the wins.

The skeleton side proved to be a more even competition with only one first place finish by a Canadian across five men’s and five women’s races. Despite the lack of first-place finishes, the Canadians didn’t shy away from the podium. To go along with the only first for the Canadians, Evan Neufeldt hit the podium a second time with a third-place finish. David Park was the only other Canadian male to land on the podium with a second-place finish.

The women’s side was largely owned by Brazil’s Nicole Rocha Silveira who took four of five first place finishes. While there were no firsts for the Canadian women, Hallie Clarke finished with two seconds, two thirds and a fourth while Madison Charney took home three second-place finishes and two thirds.

For more on the Jamaican team pick up this week’s issue of Pique and for full results from all of the Sliding Centre’s races, go to ibsf.org.