CALGARY (ISN) — After investing more than two decades of his life to bobsleigh in Canada, one of the nation’s most decorated Olympians, Pierre Lueders, will leave his position as national team development coach this month, Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton announced on Wednesday.
“I have dedicated 22 years of my life almost exclusively to the sport of bobsleigh in Canada – both as an athlete and a coach – but I feel now it is time to take a break, look at other career options, and most importantly spend some much-needed time with my family,” said the five-time Olympian. “My goals when I joined the sport in 1989 was to leave the Canadian Bobsleigh Team in a better place than when I started. Working with world-leading coaches, countless talented teammates and mentoring aspiring Olympians, I believe I have accomplished that.”
A winner of more than 100 international medals, including an Olympic gold (1998) silver (2006), and eight World Championship podium finishes while driving the Canada 1 two- and four-man bobsleigh, Lueders had an immediate impact on the nation’s next generation of Olympic bobsleigh pilots since launching the next chapter of his storied career two years ago as a pilot coach with the development squad.
Lueders’ mark was most recognized last year in developing his former brakeman, Justin Kripps, along with Jenny Ciochetti and others, into World Cup-calibre pilots. In just his second year driving since pushing Lueders at the 2010 Olympics, Kripps piloted the Canada 2 sled to back-to-back top-10 performances on his home track in Calgary last year, while Ciochetti also broke onto the elite circuit.
“Bobsleigh in Canada is synonymous with Pierre Lueders,” said Reid Morrison, president, Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton. “He is the most successful athlete in the history of our sport, and there is no doubt the extensive experience and knowledge he brought to the program as a coach over the last two years has played a critical role in fast-tracking the development of our young pilots, while he also ensured our elite athletes were fully prepared to win against the world’s best.
“This is an unfortunate day for our sport in Canada, but Pierre has raised the bar throughout his career, and allowed Canadian bobsleigh athletes to believe they too can be Olympic champions. We are grateful for his commitment to excellence and wish Pierre and his family the very best.”
Lueders will remain in Calgary with his wife and two daughters. He plans to enjoy the summer with his family while taking time to explore a number of career options in-and-outside of sport.
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