Story and Photos by Richard Hyde
As the evening cooled off from a stunning 6℃ day in Whistler the Mens Two Man Bobsleigh teams from three continents took to the track for two rounds of sliding action.
The temperature kept dropping and the speeds and times kept getting quicker. Team Poland were early leaders with a blistering start. A few untidy corners on the way down robbed them of vital hundreds of a second but for a time they were on top of the standings. Team New Zealand had a great run too. They are one of a few southern hemisphere teams climbing the rankings in World Sliding Events. They too put in a great start and a valiant run.
With temperatures just about freezing the second round of runs were going to please for sure. With the greatest names in the business in town you knew things would go to the wire. The Suisse, The Russians, The Germans, The British and of course the Canadians were all in with a fighting chance of taking the Gold medal.
In the final few runs the times were approaching Olympic standards of 52 to 53 seconds for the 1450 M track. Team Germany in the lead with four runs to go. Only to be beaten by the Russian pair of Alexsander Zubkov and Dimitry Trunenkov by 0.12 of a second. Up second from last were the Suisse pair of Beat Hefti and Thomas Lamparter. They gave it their all from the start and almost over cooked it in turn 10/11 only to regain a straight line and beat the Russians by 0.06 of a second…….Penultimate run was from our own Team Canada pair of Lyndon Rush and Jesse Lumsden.
“Flying” down the track
Way to Go Canada!!!!
Lyndon Rush and Jesse Lumsden…all smiles!
All of a sudden the crowd seemed to swell in the turn 16 area, “Thunderbird”. Cow bells rang and the crown became boisterous. “Go Canada Go” was the chant. The crowds watched the start on the big screen TV’s and hollered and hooted as the boys made their run. Glad to say the whole thing was near perfection. Great start, great mid section, that was catching a few of the late runners out and a speedy finish. Up and around 144 KM/H. Team Canada crossed the line in first position and the place went nuts. Rush and Lumsden were in first with a combined time of 1.44.14. The only team left to run that could deny The Canadians of a home victory were Team Germany’s number one pair of Maximilian Arndt and Martin Putze. The crowd hushed as they watched the pair push off from the start house on the big screens. Great start by the Germans. This was going to be close. The Germans were in contention all the way down the run. The crowd was silent until the Germans time was flashed up on the timing board. One spectator had just commented to a friend…..here come the fire works! 52.26 seconds was the posted time………The crowd erupted. Rush and Lunsden had done it by the narrowest of margins. 0.07th of a second. But it did not matter now. High fives all round and a healthy and prolonged cheer from the Canadian crowd. The boys had done it.
Less than a second separated the top five teams! The six on the podium were all chatty and congratulating each other. Big smiles and lots of back slapping. A great nights work for Team Canada.
A repeat tomorrow for the four man Bob competition will be very welcome?
Go Canada Go!