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Release: Lugers Nominated To 2014 Olympic Team

December 17, 2013

SOCHI 2014 CANADIAN OLYMPIC LUGE TEAM ANNOUNCED
Men’s and women’s teams officially nominated to represent Canada in Sochi

CALGARY – A group of seven athletes are focused on sliding into the history books as the first Canadians to win an Olympic luge medal.

The Canadian Luge Association officially put forward the names of five men and two women that will hit the start handles in Sochi for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games. Two-time Olympian, Sam Edney, will lead teenagers John Fennell and Mitchel Malyk into their first Games in men’s singles. Tristan Walker and Justin Snith will hop on the lone Canadian doubles sled, while World Championship and World Cup medallist, Alex Gough, will be joined by Kimberley McRae in women’s singles. Arianne Jones and Jordan Smith will race off in Calgary, December 18-19, for the final women’s spot.

“Today is a fantastic day for the Canadian Luge Association and for the Olympic Movement in Canada,” said Marcel Aubut, President, Canadian Olympic Committee. “Congratulations to the amazing athletes nominated onto the Canadian Olympic Team. Your hard work and dedication has paid off and we look forward to cheering you on in Sochi.”

Alex Gough snapped Germany’ s 105-race winning streak that lasted 13 years when she became the first Canadian to win a World Cup luge race in 2011. Over the last Olympic quadrennial, Gough also became the first to win multiple World Championship and World Cup medals in the history of the sport in Canada.

“Success breeds success, and now all athletes on our team believe they too can win,” said Alex Gough, 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.”

Joined by Ronald McDonald, Gough and her teammates arrived in fashion on a horse-drawn sleigh to the Ronald McDonald House Southern Alberta where they received their Olympic jackets in front of kids and their families staying at the facility over the holiday season.

Canadian water polo player and songstress, Rosanna Tomiuk performed a song written specifically for the luge team. Parents of the athletes were also on-site to cook and serve lunch to families and guests, adding to the inspirational atmosphere of the House.

Thanks to the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, Canada’s luge athletes have transformed from participants into medal contenders. Having access to a new sliding sport venue in Canada, along with the injection of additional resources from the Government of Canada and the Canadian Olympic Committee through the Own the Podium program, Canadian luge athletes have racked up 24 medals in World Championship and World Cup competitions since 2010.

“This is the strongest team of medal contenders the nation has ever assembled in the sport of luge,” said Tim Farstad, Executive Director, 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.”

Canada has competed in luge at every Olympic Games since Grenoble 1968, but has yet to medal. Ready to contend with the world’s best in all race disciplines, luge will also debut its team relay competition in 2014. Consistent medal winners in the team relay event, Canada won the silver medal in the relay at the 2013 World Championships.

“Congratulations to these athletes who have earned the right to wear the maple leaf as Canada’s top luge athletes,” said Devinder Shory, Member of Parliament (Calgary Northeast). “All Canadians from coast to coast to coast will be cheering you on as you strive for Olympic glory next year in Sochi.”

The Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games will take place from February 7-23, 2014. The Canadian Olympic Team has set a goal to contend for the top spot in overall medals won.

List of Luge athletes nominated to the Sochi 2014 Canadian Olympic Team:

*Arianne Jones and Jordan Smith will race off for the final women’s spot, December 18-19, in Calgary

Women:
First Last Hometown
Alex Gough Calgary, AB
Kimberly McRae Calgary, AB
Men:
First Last Hometown
Mitchel Malyk Calgary, AB
Justin Snith Calgary, AB
Tristan Walker Cochrane, AB
Sam Edney Calgary, AB
John Fennell Calgary, AB

Canada’s lugers now join 10 speed skating athletes, 10 Curling athletes and 16 bobsledders as the next members on the Canadian Olympic Team. Up to fifteen more teams will be announced between now and February.

Prior to being named to the final Canadian Olympic Team, all nominations are subject to approval by the Canadian Olympic Committee’s Team Selection Committee following its receipt of nominations by all National Sport Federations towards the end of January 2014.

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Canadian Olympic Committee Media Office:
Luc Beaudin, Coordinator, Communications and Media Relations
Cell: 514-206-6720
Email: lbeaudin@olympic.ca

Jane Almeida, Manager, Media Relations
Tel: 416-324-4120 / Cell: 416-540-1788
Email: jalmeida@olympic.ca

Canadian Luge Association:
Chris Dornan
Tel: 403-620-8731
E-mail: hpprchris@shaw.ca

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Tel: 514-861-5487 / Cell: 416-428-0572
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