World Championship and World Cup medalist Alex Gough and two-time Olympian Sam Edney will lead a promising Canadian luge team into the Sochi Games with the goal of bringing home the country’s first Olympic medal in the sport.
The Canadian Luge Association officially named seven athletes to the 2014 Olympic team Tuesday. Edney, will lead teenagers John Fennell and Mitchel Malyk into their first Games in men’s singles. Tristan Walker and Justin Snith will represent Canada in doubles, while Gough, will be joined by Kimberley McRae in women’s singles.
Arianne Jones and Jordan Smith will race off in Calgary on Wednesday and Thursday for the final women’s spot.
Gough snapped Germany’s 13-year, 105-race winning streak when she became the first Canadian to win a World Cup luge race in 2011. Gough has since become the first to Canadian to win multiple World Championship and World Cup medals.
“Success breeds success, and now all athletes on our team believe they too can win,” said Gough, who is also a two-time Olympian. “My teammates and I are all extremely dedicated. We are now among the world’s best. We are hungry for the podium, and we are fiercely driven to win Canada its first-ever Olympic luge medal.”
Canada has competed in luge at every Olympic Games since Grenoble 1968, but has yet to medal. They hope to contend in all discipline sin Sochi, including the new luge relay event.
Canada won the silver medal in the relay at the 2013 World Championships.
“This is the strongest team of medal contenders the nation has ever assembled in the sport of luge,” said Tim Farstad, executive director of the Canadian Luge Association. “Over the last four years, this group has demonstrated they can perform under the most intense pressure, and win medals at the highest level.”