WHISTLER, B.C.—Nicknamed “Team Who”, Chris Spring and his Canada 2 crew officially introduced themselves to the world on Saturday (Nov. 24), after winning their first career World Cup bobsleigh medal – a bronze in the four-man race on his home track in Whistler, B.C.
“I had the confidence in my crew and myself to know if we execute like we did today then we will come away with a good result. This field is so deep. I’m going to be smiling for a long time here – this bronze medal is huge for us,” said Spring, whose previous best finish was eighth last week in Park City, Utah.
Sitting in fourth spot after the first run, Calgary’s 28-year-old Spring, and his newly-formed crew this year of Tim Randall, of Burlington, Ben Coakwell, of Saskatoon, and Edmonton’s Adam Rosenke, clawed their way onto the podium after moving ahead of the Olympic four-man bobsleigh champion, Steven Holcomb from the United States. The Canada 2 sled blasted down the 16-corner Olympic track in a two-run time of1:43.83.
“I thought Holcomb was going to lay down another great run as he always does, but to see those red numbers come up and for us to be in first at the time, I just can’t describe it,” beamed the Australian-born Spring with his arms around his close-knit crew at the finish.
“It is a little out-of-body for me at the moment, I’m just going to have a good time experiencing this with these boys.”
It may be one of the most remarkable comeback stories in winter sport. Laying in a hospital bed just 10 months ago after a horrific crash in Altenberg, Germany that put an end to his season, cool-headed Spring wasn’t even sure if he’d ever slide again at the time.
“Last season was a little interrupted and it is something that is on my mind. There can always be a few spills in any race, but I have to stay on top of it and take each race as it goes,” said Spring, who was working his way into the top-10 before the accident in his first full season piloting on Team Canada.
“I don’t want to put down trying to come back from disaster, but I just take it as it comes. The secret of our success is just having fun and it worked today. There are exciting times ahead and I can’t wait for the next race.”
Alexander Zubkov, Alexey Negodaylo, Dmitry Trunenkov and Maxim Mokrousov won their third straight four-man race in the Russia 1 sled with a time of 1:43.29. Alexander Kasjanov, Maxim Belugin, IIvir Khuzin and Nikolay Khrenkov finished second in Russia 2 at 1:43.53.
Lyndon Rush, of Humboldt, Sask., Calgary’s Lascelles Brown, Edmonton’s Neville Wright and Jesse Lumsden, of Burlington, teamed up in the Canada 1 sled to finish eighth at 1:44.24.
World Cup rookie pilot Justin Kripps and his crew of Nick Carriere, of Rockland, Ont., Luke Demetre, of New Glasgow, N.S., and Ottawa’s Cody Sorensen were 13th (1:44.91).