Sport Shorts: Rewriting History Books

Gough Charging Ahead: There are many Canadian athletes who have won three bronze medals in one World Cup season. But never in luge. Never even has a Canadian won two medals – over an entire career! Calgary’s Alex Gough this week won her 3rd bronze medal of the 2010-11 season, a monumental feat in light of the history books. Which she has rewritten.

She blasted down the track in Königssee, GER on Wednesday to take bronze, her third such medal in four races. The two-time Olympian said she was striving for the podium this season, but now her expectations have changed to winning a medal at every World Cup. She is only the 4th Canadian to win a luge World Cup medal and is the 1st to ever win multiple medals over the span of a career. All three have come in a couple of months.

On the men’s side, Canada was on Thursday led by Calgary’s Jeff Christie, who finished 15th.

Harvey and Kershaw Turning Heads: Only two Canadian men have ever won gold in a World Cup cross-country ski race. On Wednesday in Toblach, Italy, Devon Kershaw made that three. He stretched at the finish line to win gold in the 5th stage of the prestigious Tour de Ski – by a margin of 0.01 seconds. “I’m thrilled. I’m more than thrilled. I absolutely cannot believe it,” he said after the race.

Against the world’s top skiers, Kershaw (Sudbury, Ont.) has in one week two silver medals and now a gold medal. He continues to credit the team’s technicians who are the “best in the business.” Kershaw joins Pierre Harvey (1987, 1988) and Ivan Babikov (2009) as the only Canadian men to win gold medals in this sport.

His teammate, Alex Harvey (St-Ferréol-les-Neiges, Que.), is also posting big results in the Tour de Ski, most recently finishing 5th in the 6th stage on Thursday. In this race, Kershaw finished 10th, another solid finish. Both skiers are well-positioned in the overall standings heading into the final weekend. After Thursday, Harvey sits in 7th spot overall and Kershaw in 10th.

Juniors Claim Silver: In a starkly pro-Canada crowd in Buffalo, N.Y., the Canadian junior men’s hockey team took a 3-0 lead into the 3rd period but couldn’t hang on against Russia. Russia won 5-3 to win gold, and Canada took silver. In the game, Saskatoon’s Brayden Schenn had a goal and an assist to give him 18 points in the tournament, tied for the most-ever by a Canadian in one year. Ryan Ellis (Freelton, Ont.) finished his three-year junior career with 25 points in the tournament, the most ever by a defenceman. This is the 8th silver medal for Canada at this event.

Biathletes Post Solid Result: The Canadian men’s biathlon team posted an 11th-place result in the 4×7.5 km relay at a World Cup in Germany on Wednesday. Squad members are Marc-André Bedard (Valcartier, Que.), Jean-Philippe Le Guellec (Shannon, Que.) Scott Perras (Regina) and Brendan Green (Hay River, N.W.T.). The race was beset by strong winds that made shooting very difficult. Canada’s young team and Le Guellec, its leader, said he believes that promising times lay ahead for them.