Alex Gough is the leader of the Canadian luge team that has taken strides to be amongst the best in the world. At Sochi 2014 the team came closer to the Olympic podium than it ever had before, with Gough, Sam Edney, Tristan Walker and Justin Snith finishing fourth in the Olympic debut of the team relay. Gough also finished fourth in the women’s singles event.
In February 2011, she became the first Canadian luger to ever win gold in a World Cup race. That snapped a 105-race winning streak in women’s World Cup competition by Germany, a string of success that had lasted more than 13 years. She went on to win Canada’s first-ever world championship women’s luge medal when she captured bronze in 2011.
Gough had hoped to have her breakthrough at Vancouver 2010 because the Canadian team had enjoyed a lot of training time on the Whistler Sliding Centre track. But following the tragic death of Georgian Nodar Kumaritashvili, the start positions were lowered and suddenly the track that Gough knew intimately became very unfamiliar and she went on to finish 18th.
Since Vancouver 2010, Gough’s consistency has been remarkable. In the last four seasons, she has finished the year ranked in the top five of the World Cup standings, including second place overall in 2013-14 thanks to podium finishes in six of the nine races. She added another bronze medal at the 2013 World Championships following a fourth place finish in 2012.
As a strong starter, Gough is also a vital component in the team relay, setting the stage for Sam Edney as well as the doubles team of Tristan Walker and Justin Snith. The quartet won silver at the 2013 World Championships following bronze in 2012.
2011 and 2013 World Championship bronze medallist (women’s singles)… 2013 World Championship silver medallist (team relay)… 2012 World Championship bronze medalllist (team relay)…
Getting Into the Sport: Had been an alpine skier as a child but didn’t really enjoy having to navigate through gates, she just wanted to go fast… During family trips to Fernie, BC she would ski alongside friend and current teammate Sam Edney… After Edney got started in luge, her mother signed her up for a luge camp at Canada Olympic Park when she was 13… She loved the competition and by 18 was competing at her first Olympic Games… Outside Interests: Enjoys playing guitar, watching TV and knitting… In the off-season likes to ski, mountain bike and spend time at the lake… Taking open studies at the University of Calgary… Affiliated with the charity Fast and Female to promote sport involvement for girls… Odds and Ends: Has a tattoo of the Olympic rings on the back of her right ankle… Graduated from the National Sport School in Calgary… Favourite Olympic memory is watching Joannie Rochette win figure skating bronze at Vancouver 2010… Always travels with a stuffed Stitch (character from Disney’s Lilo and Stitch movie)… Favourite quote: “Courage does not always roar, sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.” – Mary Anne Radmacher…
NOTABLE INTERNATIONAL RESULTS
FIL World Championships: 2013 – BRONZE (singles), SILVER (team relay); 2012 – 4th (singles), BRONZE (team relay); 2011 – BRONZE (singles); 2009 – 4th (singles); 2007 – 24th (singles)