Athletes Blog

Some Serious Silver

Jan 23rd, 2009 | By | Category: Athletes Blog

CANADA’S LUGE ATHLETES BRING HOME SOME SILVER HARDWARE AFTER FINISHING SECOND IN TEAM COMPETITION

ALTENBERG, Ger. – Canada’s luge team joined forces to win a silver medal in a World Cup team relay on Friday in Altenberg, Germany.

Canada’s team consisting of Calgary’s Alex Gough, Sam Edney and brother tandem of Chris and Mike Moffat, finished second behind the nearly untouchable Germans after blowing down the challenging 15-cure Altenberg track. The Canucks took advantage of familiar windy conditions regularly experienced on their home track in Calgary to finish .748 seconds behind the Germans.

It was an exciting day and I just wanted to put it all out there and really enjoy it, said Sam Edney, who was competing in his first-ever World Cup relay. It is definitely a unique experience and it is completely unpredictable because any mistake by any team member can cost you. I think this is the future of our sport, and creating a team concept in a sport that is very individual, will make it that much more exciting.

The team competition consists of one female, one male and one doubles teams, who each complete one run for a combined final time. In an effort to make the event more exciting for the teams and spectators, the FIL introduced the relay-type system that had the athletes hitting a pad at the finish, which in turn opens the gate at the start for the next team member. Strategy comes into play as the coaches communicate over radio to make sure the next athlete is ready to go as soon as the get opens.

This is very important measuring stick for us because it demonstrates the overall performance of a nation, and we are always right in the hunt for the medals in the team event, said Wolfgang Staudinger, who added the International Luge Federation has been trying to get the team format into the Olympic lineup in the future. This result shows if we slide well we are capable of doing great things.

Canada has enjoyed great success in the team format. Two years ago the Canadians finished second overall on the World Cup after winning a silver and bronze medal. Earlier this season, the Canadian juniors also won a silver medal in a team relay in Königssee, Germany.

The powerful German team of David Möller, Natalie Geisenberger, along with Tobias Wendl and Tobias Alt set the time to beat at 2:26.737.

Italy’s David Mair, Sandra Gasparini and Christian Oberstolz and Patrick Gruber won the bronze medal.

The Luge World Cup continues Saturday with the double’s and women’s competition.

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