October 20, 2013, WHISTLER, B.C. (ISN) —Sam Edney, Alex Gough, Tristan Walker and Justin Snith kicked off the highly-anticipated Olympic year will head to Europe to begin the World Cup circuit as the kings and queen of Canadian luge after winning the Canadian Luge Championships at the Whistler Sliding Centre Sunday.
The 28-year-old Sam Edney, who will be counted on to lead the men’s singles program in Sochi, captured his third national title after clocking a two-run time of one minute, 37.676 seconds. The two-time Olympian from Calgary has been strong in training this fall, regularly posting some of the fastest times following an impressive finish last year where he was fifth at the World Championships.
Edney was joined on the podium by 18-year-old Calgarians, John Fennell and Mitchel Malyk, who finished second and third respectively. Fennell slid to the silver medal at 1:38.325, while Malyk punched the clock at 1:38.421 for the bronze.
Calgary’s Alex Gough, who had another dream season last year after winning the bronze medal in singles racing at the World Championships, found her way back onto the top of the women’s podium to claim her seventh national crown, and third straight. The 26-year-old Gough clocked a two-run time of 1:14.118.
Gough’s World Cup teammate and fellow Calgarian, 21-year-old Kim McRae, slid to second spot at 1:14.412, while Calgary’s Arianne Jones, 23, rounded out the podium in third at 1:14.586.
One of the most talented doubles teams in the history of the Canadian luge program, Calgary’s 22-year-olds, Walker and Snith, slid to their third Canadian doubles title after blasting down the track where they made their Olympic debut in 2010 with a two-run time of 1:13.743.
“It was a great day by our veterans and I was really happy to see the performance of our youngsters,” said Walter Corey, high-performance director, Canadian Luge Association. “Today wrapped up a very intense period of training for us. Everyone has put in a very hard effort this fall. We are excited with where we are at and anxious to get the year underway.”
Following three weeks of selection races, the 2013-14 Canadian Luge Team will be officially announced on Tuesday, October 22, during a media conference at Olympic Heights School in Calgary at 1 p.m. MTN. The team will also use the opportunity to launch a truly unique children’s book that has been created with the goal of promoting literacy amongst the nation’s youth, while connecting elementary school students to Olympic sport.
The World Cup begins, November 13-17, 2013 in Lillehammer, Norway.
The Canadian Luge Association is a not-for-profit organization governing the sport of luge across the country. With the financial backing from the Government of Canada, Canadian Olympic Committee and Own the Podium, the Canadian Luge Association safely recruits and develops the nation’s current and future high-performance luge athletes with the goal of regularly climbing onto the international podium. For more information on the Canadian Luge Association, please visit us at www.luge.ca on the Internet.