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Whistler teens Caitlin Nash and Natalie Corless continue to make luge history

The Canadian national teamers won their first doubles World Cup medal—a bronze—in Park City
Whistlerites Natalie Corless (left) and Caitlin Nash celebrate their historic bronze medal in Park City.

A week after partaking in a landmark luge race on home soil, Whistler’s own Caitlin Nash and Natalie Corless slid into the history books on Dec. 17 in Park City, Utah as the first Canadians ever to reach the FIL World Cup women’s doubles podium.

The youngest athletes in contention stormed from behind to capture a bronze medal with a two-run time of 1:28.955.

“I am not only a bit surprised, I am shocked,” Nash said with a laugh. “We just wanted to lay down two consistent runs today and walk away being happy with our performance. We are so happy to leave with a medal.”

Sitting way back in sixth position after an underwhelming first run, the close 19-year-old friends rocketed onto the podium by posting the second-fastest final-run time on a chilly afternoon at the 2002 Olympic track near Salt Lake City.

“This just feels crazy,” beamed Corless, who represented Canada in women’s singles at the 2022 Olympic Games in Beijing. “We just told ourselves: This is luge; we do this every day—and that we were going to let go of the result and just send it in the second run.”

The comeback was reminiscent of the Canadian speedsters’ historic silver-medal triumph at the 2020 Youth Olympic Games when they battled back from fourth at the midway point.

“Natalie and I are the queens of the speedy second run,” Nash said. “Our mentality is that we both just decided to leave it all on the track, focus on our sliding and walk away proud of our performance.”

The Whistlerites shared the podium with Italians Andrea Votter and Marion Oberhofer, who won the gold medal with a time of 1:28.302. Germany’s Jessica Degenhardt and Cheyenne Rosenthal claimed silver at 1:28.905.

Nash and Corless have helped carve a path for the growth of women’s doubles luge for years. They won gold on the Park City track in 2018 in their first-ever women’s doubles race, back when it was introduced to the youth ranks.

“Park City is a very special place for us,” said Corless. “The track holds a lot of meaning to us, winning that first youth women’s doubles race, but to be able to come back here and do it at another level—the highest level—is crazy. We are so proud and happy.”

The teens have joined a growing list of Canadian luge athletes to medal on the World Cup circuit, including Alex Gough, Sam Edney, Tristan Walker and Justin Snith, Kim McRae, Arianne Jones, Regan Lauscher, Tyler Seitz and Marie Claude Doyon.

They are the first to do it on a women’s doubles sled—a new World Cup discipline this year that will make its Olympic debut in 2026.

Nash and Corless are not strangers to racing doubles or to making history. In 2019, they competed in a World Cup doubles event against Olympic-class men at the Whistler Sliding Centre. Later that year, they won silver when women’s doubles debuted at the 2020 Youth Olympic Games. They jumped back on the doubles sled to test themselves for the first time against women at the World Cup one week ago at the Whistler Sliding Centre.

“This is another stepping stone in our career,” Nash said. “We are young, but we have accomplished a lot in women’s doubles. It is exciting to know we have been trailblazers in the sport, that we have played a small part in developing women’s luge and getting it onto the World Cup, so to win our first medal so early in our career means a lot.”

“Caitlin and I have been at the forefront of women’s doubles, and every single day we are developing with the sport,” said Corless. “We are developing our abilities doing singles and doubles which can be a lot to handle, but overall, we are getting experience every day.”