The Canadian Luge team used home ice advantage to the fullest on Saturday (Dec. 7), with athletes winning two silver medals. Alex Gough, Canada’s best luger in history with 14 medals to her credit in the last three seasons, was fast once again to place second in the women’s competition.
Gough was also the lead racer for the national luge relay team, along with male racer Sam Edney and the doubles team of Tristan Walker and Justin Snith. They also won a silver medal, the team’s second silver of the season.
For Gough, a silver is her second best individual result. She’s won a race, but her other podiums have been bronze.
“I felt really good,” she said. “I pulled really good starts. The second run wasn’t as great as I wanted it to be, but I put together two good, consistent runs and got the result I wanted.”
The team’s result in the luge was also welcome. They earned a silver medal in the first race of the season, and were on pace to win last week in Germany when a mistake —and early start by the doubles team — disqualified them.
Strong start for trampoline team
The Whistler Gymnastics competitive trampoline team headed to New Westminster this past weekend for a meet, with many of the athletes competing for the first time in a field of 100 participants. Some of the athletes competed in more than one category.
In the Under 10 category — a new group that was created by Whistler Gymnastics — Kierstin Higgins was second and Ella Soane fifth in individual trampoline, and fifth and seventh respectively in double mini tramp.
In Provincial Level 1, Matthew Roth-Waldman was third in the individual event, and second in double mini.
In Provincial Level 2, Jett Williams was sixth on tramp and third in double mini, Saxon Forster was fourth in tramp and seventh in double mini, and Devon Douglas seventh in tramp and 10th in double mini. Gigi Kranjc placed first in double mini in the female category.
In Provincial Level 3 trampoline, Kranjc placed sixth while Sydney Lovell-Schmidth was third.
In Provincial Level 3 double mini, Kranjc earned her second gold, Joe Davies won silver and Caitlin MacConnachie was fourth.
In Provincial Level 4, Joe Davies and Caitlin MacConnachie both won bronze on trampoline.
Ricker sent home with ‘mild’ concussion
Whistler’s Maëlle Ricker, the reigning Olympic and World Champion in snowboardcross, was sent home from the World Cup opener in Montafon, Austria, with a mild concussion concussion, after a crash during a training run.
Canada Snowboard was not taking any chances with Ricker’s health: “As the defending World Champion, Maëlle has already prequalified (for) her spot on the Olympic team for Sochi,” said Robert Joncas, high performance director for Canada Snowboard. “We felt that it was the best decision for Maëlle and the Canadian team to send her home to speed up her recovery before rejoining us in Lake Louise for the FIS World Cup later this month.”
The team had a solid weekend without her. Dominique Maltais, the reigning overall World Cup champion from last season, placed second in the women’s event.
The men’s team, which has struggled in recent years, is on its way back with Kevin Hill of Vernon placing third — his first World Cup podium.
Kokanee Valley Race Series getting underway
The eight-race Kokanee Valley Race Series gets going on Thursday, Dec. 19 with a giant slalom on Gandy Dancer/Ross’s Gold on Blackcomb Mountain.
Registration is $30 if you do it online at www.whistlerblackcomb.com or in person at Whistler Blackcomb Guest Relations. Day-of-race registration is available at the Rendezvous Lodge until 9:45 a.m. for $35.
Participants will get two shots at the course, and will be ranked in their age category by their combined time.
The after party takes place at the Mountain Club in the Westin Resort and Spa starting at 3:30 p.m. with the video playback, followed by draw prizes and awards at 4 p.m.
Skiers, snowboarders and telemarkers aged 19 and older are welcome to take part in this fun and low-pressure event, which features an age spread over 60 years.
Future events are on Jan. 9, Jan. 23, Feb. 6, Feb. 20, Feb. 27, Mar. 13 and Mar. 20.