LAKE PLACID, N.Y. — Canada’s Lyndon Rush and Jesse Lumsden put a silver lining on what could have been a disastrous weekend at the world bobsled and skeleton championships.
The duo raced to second place in the two-man bobsled, despite a stomach virus that nearly knocked Sylvan Lake’s Rush out of the competition and left a podium finish in doubt.
“Coming down the track was awful. I was gagging the whole way down,” Rush said. “Thankfully the run is only a minute long.”
Rush and Lumsden were the leaders after the first two of four races Saturday, but Americans Steven Holcomb and Steve Langton surged past the Canadians with a near-flawless third run Sunday.
Holcomb had a four-run time of three minutes 42.88 seconds, 0.46 seconds ahead of Rush and Lumsden.
Rush, from Humboldt, Sask., credited Lumsden’s strength for pushing the two to the podium.
“Jesse pushed the sled by himself today. I was basically a windsock. He was on his own,” Rush said.
Maximilian Arndt and Kevin Kuske of Germany took the bronze, 0.55 behind Holcomb. World Cup champion Beat Hefti and Thomas Lamparter of Switzerland were fifth.
Justin Kripps of Summerland, B.C., and Calgary’s Derek Plug were 17th.
Canada also won bronze in the team event, composed of men’s and women’s skeleton, women’s bobsled, and men’s two-man bobsled.
The world championship medal was the first for Rush and Lumsden, a native of Burlington, Ont.
“I thought I would be happy, but I’m not even sure if I am right now,” Rush said. “I just want to get back to my hotel and sleep.”
Lumsden was proud of how Rush fought through his illness.
“We came out guns blazing on Saturday and had to battle through some adversity (Saturday) night,” Lumsden said. “Considering the condition Lyndon was in it was a courageous effort even for him to perform.”
Rush, a bronze medallist in the four-man at the 2010 Olympics, teamed up with the former CFL running back this past fall, in a move that has already paid off. Rush and Lumsden won a World Cup silver medal in Konigssee, Germany, their first podium finish, and then won gold two weeks ago at Whistler, B.C.
“The goal was to work together to win a medal here for Canada,” said Rush. “Jesse is an amazing athlete, and such an amazing character guy who always puts the team first. I’m very lucky to have him on the team.”
The Whistler victory was Rush’s second of his career and fourth two-man medal. He also has four podium finishes in the four-man including one victory.
The Whistler victory was the first of Lumsden’s career.
“This is a team sport and I knew it was best for me to join Lyndon for the best interest of the team,” Lumsden said. “I’m in such a good place right now and I can’t wait to get in the four-man (this week) with the other guys. If you ever needed an example of a team peaking at the right time, we are it.”