Competing in her first international race since realizing not only her home track in Calgary but also the National Sport School at Winsport’s Canada Olympic Park may be closing, Kailley Allan put her off-ice challenges aside to win her first Youth World Cup race in Igls, Austria on Sunday.
The 16-year-old blasted down the 10-corner Austrian track in a two-run time of 1:21.297.
“It is awesome to win my first Youth A World Cup race,” said Allan after hearing the national anthem while standing atop the podium. “I was able to pull fast starts today and have two consistent runs. That combined with a strong support team cheering me on was the key today. I am excited to see what comes next.”
Allan was sitting in second spot after her first trip down the track. The curly-haired, red-headed Canuck lit up the second run, clocking the fastest time at 40.550 to secure the gold medal.
Allan was sandwiched on the podium by two German athletes. Jessica Degenhardt was second at 1:21.308. Merle Frabel slid to the bronze with a time of 1:21.538.
Caitlin Nash, of Whistler, B.C. who was fourth in Saturday’s race, finished in ninth place on Sunday with a time of 1:21.943.
Allan’s Olympic dreams have been rocked this fall after first learning that her home track in Calgary is temporarily closed. She and her teammates were also notified last week by the Calgary Board of Education that the National Sport School – also located at Winsport’s Canada Olympic Park – may be shut down at the end of the school year.
“The Sport School has played an absolutely crucial role in my development in luge and in receiving a quality education,” said the Grade 11 student. “I simply could not pursue my Olympic dream and graduate from Grade 12, so I am very concerned with this news.
“This School provides the unique opportunity for me to establish strong relationships with the teachers under a flexible learning schedule that allows me to continue to compete at an international level.”
Other notable results by the young Canucks over the weekend included Caitlin Nash and Natalie Corless finishing fifth and sixth in the two women’s doubles races.