Justin Kripps experienced the ups and downs of Olympic competition at Sochi 2014, his first Games as a pilot. Designated as Canada-3, he and brakeman Bryan Barnett were the top Canadian sled in the two-man event with their sixth place finish and had even been sitting in fourth place after the first three runs. His driving ability on the Sochi track prompted a late reorganization of the crews for the four-man event, with Kripps given the best pushers on the team. Eighth after the first heat, the sled overturned on turn 12 in the second heat. Kripps was medically cleared to continue competing, although two of his crewmen were not, as the sled finished in last place.
After his introduction to bobsleigh in August 2006, Kripps spent three seasons as one of the top brakeman in Canada, leading to him being a member of Pierre Lueders’ four-man crew at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Following that experience, Kripps wanted to be in control so he decided to become a pilot with the goal of competing at Sochi 2014 with his own crew.
Kripps attended pilot school in the summer of 2010. He spent the 2010-11 season on the developmental North American Cup circuit and competed at the 2011 World Junior Championships, where he drove his four-man sled to a fifth place finish and his two-man sled to an eighth place finish. He started the 2011-12 season on the Europa Cup circuit before making his World Cup debut as a pilot in February 2012 in Whistler.
His first world championship appearance as a pilot was in 2012, where he won a bronze medal in the team competition, driving the men’s two-man sled that combined with runs by a women’s bobsled, a women’s skeleton and a men’s skeleton.
Getting into the Sport: Got started in bobsleigh at age 18, drawn by it being a mix of track and field and race car driving… Participated in a testing camp in August 2006… Had been a varsity track and field athlete at Simon Fraser University… Outside Interests: Enjoys meditation and relaxation as well as local cigar lounges… During the off-season enjoys golfing and exploring the outdoors… Affiliated with the charity Five Hole for Food… On hiatus from his Bachelor of Science studies at Simon Fraser University… Odds and Ends: The highlight of his career was walking into the Opening Ceremony of Vancouver 2010… Nickname: Beastmode… Pre-competition ritual is to deep breathe peppermint oil and visualize the race… Had his Olympic dream sparked while watching Donovan Bailey win 100m gold at Atlanta 1996… Is continually inspired by watching athletes compete at the Olympic Games…
NOTABLE INTERNATIONAL RESULTS
FIBT World Championships: 2013 – 12th (2-man), 21st (4-man); 2012 – 17th (2-man), DQ (4-man)