Canadians slide to bronze medal at luge World Cup in Whistler, B.C.

WHISTLER, B.C. — A fresh-faced Canadian team slid to World Cup bronze on Saturday, showing promise for the future.

Canada’s Tristan Walker, Justin Snith, Kyla Graham and Reid Watts posted a time of two minutes, 4.413 seconds, in the team relay event in Whistler, B.C.

It was Canada’s first World Cup medal of the year, coming on the second stop on this season’s circuit.

Russia took first in the relay with a time of 2:04.124. The Germans came in second.

Saturday’s result shows the Canadians’ strengths, said Snith, a three-time Olympian from Calgary and one of the team’s few remaining veterans.

“It’s three runs, three different disciplines and you have to be solid all the way across the board to land on the podium,” he said. “And that’s what we did here today at home and we look forward to more.”

Snith and his doubles partner Tristan Walker, a fellow Calgarian, helped capture Olympic silver in the team relay at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in February, but the crew had a different makeup than the one that raced on Saturday.

“Justin and I have been through a lot of different iterations of the team and all the different combinations have been able to make it on to the podium,” Walker said. “It’s really exciting that we still have that drive, even with a bunch of fresh faces on the team.”

Whistler’s Watts, 19, raced the men’s portion of the relay for Canada and Calgary’s Graham, 19, slid the women’s leg.

Graham is competing on the senior World Cup circuit for the first time this year and said the future is bright for Canadian luge.

“We just have to get more experience to get where Alex Gough and Sam Edney were,” she said. “But we’ll probably make it there one day.”

Gough was the first Canadian to ever win an Olympic medal in luge, capturing bronze in the women’s singles event in Pyeongchang. She was one of several Canadian lugers to leave the sport after the games.

Graham was the top Canadian in the women’s event earlier on Saturday, placing 18th.

She said her second run of the day was one of the best she’s had in Whistler.

“I just chilled out, laid on my sled, got comfy and it was overall pretty good,” she said.

Germany’s Natalie Geisenberger won the women’s race with a combined two-run time of 1:16.904.

The 30-year-old also broke a two-year-old track record, posting a time of 38.510 seconds on her second run.

It was Geisenberger’s second World Cup win in the event this year.

Having a strong start feels great, she said.

“After the summer you don’t know where you stand. Of course you hope, but you never know,” she said.

Geisenberger’s teammate Julia Taubitz took home silver while American Emily Sweeney captured bronze.

Saturday marked Sweeney’s first race after a major crash at the Olympics left her with multiple back fractures.

“It was interesting to race again,” said the 25-year-old. “There were a lot of mixed emotions.”

Sweeney arrived in Whistler a week before the race to get comfortable with the track and said she had a lot of confidence going in.

“There’s still a big uphill battle for me ahead. So it was really validating for me to have two solid runs,” she said.

In addition to the women’s event, Sweeney raced in the team relay, where the Americans finished sixth.

At the end of Saturday’s races, her back was feeling tight, in part because of a series of bumps she took against the walls at the end of her second run in the singles event.

Her third place finish in the women’s singles qualifies Sweeney for the world championships in Germany in January.

Until then, she’ll continue to train but doesn’t plan on going to every World Cup event.

“I just want to be at my best and be ready for world championships,” Sweeney said.

The World Cup circuit stops in Calgary next weekend.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Whatever snow may possibly fall in Red Deer on the weekend will melt when it hits the warm ground, says meteorologist Kyle Fougere with Environment and Climate Change Canada. (File photo by ADVOCATE staff)
Weather expected to get warmer next week in Red Deer

It’s going to be a cold weekend, according to Environment Canada. Saturday… Continue reading

Retired city manager Craig Curtis will argue for keeping the Molly Banister Drive right-of-way at Tuesday's public hearing. He warns of future gridlock if the extension is removed by city council. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)
Former Red Deer city manager warns killing the Molly Banister Drive extension is ‘a terrible mistake’

Craig Curtis will argue for keeping the road alignment at next week’s public hearing

Alberta has 3,651 active cases of COVID-19. (File photo)
432 new COVID cases sets another record Friday

Central zone holds steady at 126 active cases

A Red Deer County man was arrested for drug possession by Innisfail RCMP on April 19. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Property crime and drugs top Red Deer RCMP priorities in new plan

2020-2022 Policing Priorities Plan going to city council on Monday

RCMP estimate about 500 people gathered on the weekend near Garrington Bridge along the Red Deer River, in a July 28, 2020 story. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Second person charged for alleged assault at anti-racism rally in Red Deer

A second person is facing charges following an alleged assault during an… Continue reading

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, B.C. NDP leader John Horgan and B.C. Greens leader Sonia Furstenau. (Black Press Media)
VIDEO: One day until B.C. voters go to the polls in snap election defined by pandemic

NDP Leader John Horgan’s decision to call an election comes more than a year ahead of schedule and during a pandemic

Alice Kolisnyk, deputy director of the Red Deer Food Bank, says the agency expects an increase in demand as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Every new subscription to the Red Deer Advocate includes a $50 donation to the food bank. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Support the food bank with a subscription to the Red Deer Advocate

The community’s most vulnerable members are always in need of a hand,… Continue reading

A voter places her absentee ballot in the ballot box, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020, at Merrill Auditorium in Portland, Maine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Robert F. Bukaty
American voters living in Canada increasingly being counted in presidential race

The largest number of Canadian-based American voters cast their ballots in New York and California

This photo provided by Air Force Reserve shows a sky view of Hurricane Epsilon taken by Air Force Reserve hurricane hunter team over the Atlantic Ocean taken Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020.   Epsilon’s maximum sustained winds have dropped slightly as it prepares to sideswipe Bermuda on a path over the Atlantic Ocean.  The National Hurricane Center says it should come close enough Thursday, Oct. 22, evening to merit a tropical storm warning for the island.  (Air Force Reserve via AP)
Hurricane Epsilon expected to remain offshore but will push waves at Atlantic Canada

Epsilon is not expected to have any real impact on land

A composite image of three photographs shows BC NDP Leader John Horgan, left, in Coquitlam, B.C., on Sept. 25, 2020; BC Green Party Leader Sonia Furstenau, centre, in Victoria on Sept. 24, 2020; and BC Liberal Party Leader Andrew Wilkinson Pitt Meadows, B.C., on Sept. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck, Chad Hipolito
British Columbia votes in snap election called during COVID-19 pandemic

NDP Leader John Horgan called the snap election one year before the fixed voting date

Nunavut's provincial flag flies on a flag pole in Ottawa, on Tuesday June 30, 2020. The annual report from Nunavut's representative for children and youth says "complacency and a lack of accountability" in the territory's public service means basic information about young people needing services isn’t tracked. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Nunavut’s young people ‘should be expecting more’ from government services: advocate

‘The majority of information we requested is not tracked or was not provided by departments’

kk
Don’t try to teach a turtle tricks

I got Smokey at Woolworths. Woolworths was an awesome department store downtown,… Continue reading

New voluntary measures, including the encouragement of more mask wearing, have been introduced in the Edmonton health zone. “Red Deer has been very fortunate to have relatively low case numbers . . . relative to the rest of the province and the country,” says Mayor Tara Veer. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
POLL: Should Alberta have stricter rules to help prevent the spread of COVID-19?

Should Alberta have stricter rules to help prevent the spread of COVID-19?… Continue reading

Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Walker Buehler throws against the Tampa Bay Rays during the first inning in Game 3 of the baseball World Series Friday, Oct. 23, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Buehler leads Dodgers over Rays 6-2 for 2-1 Series lead

Buehler leads Dodgers over Rays 6-2 for 2-1 Series lead

Most Read