Sliding sports in 2018-19: Where in the world is Team Canada?

Team Canada has a need for speed.

And this winter the country’s top athletes in bobsleigh, skeleton and luge will be whipping down ice tracks at home and around the globe.

Here’s what you need to know to cheer them on:

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Chris Spring and Samuel Giguere of Team Canada, from right, speed down the track during the two-men bob race at the Bob World Cup in Koenigssee, southern Germany, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016. (AP Photo/Kerstin Joensson)

Which Canadians are competing?

The 2018-19 bobsleigh World Cup roster includes PyeongChang 2018 gold medallist Justin Kripps and his fellow pilots Alysia Rissling, Christine De Bruin, Christopher Spring and Nick Poloniato. There are also a few familiar names among the crew, including Ben Coakwell and Cam Stones.

After being on the brakes last season, Melissa Lotholz and Cynthia Appiah are both learning to drive on ice and will compete in monobob, the event which will make its Olympic debut at Beijing 2022.

Three-time Olympic medalist Kaillie Humphries is stepping away from the track this season to take a little break before returning for another Olympic run towards Beijing 2022.

Where is Team Canada competing?

The eight-stop IBSF World Cup circuit begins December 7-9 in Sigulda, Latvia. Team Canada will compete at home for the final stop in Calgary February 23-24. That will be followed by the world championships in Whistler, March 1-9.  The complete season calendar can be found here.


Dave Greszczyszyn of Team Canada speeds down the track during his first run of the men’s Skeleton World Cup race in Koenigssee, southern Germany, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016. (AP Photo/Kerstin Joensson)

Which Canadians are competing?

Almost all of Team Canada’s PyeongChang 2018 skeleton roster is returning to the track this season. Kevin Boyer, Jane Channell, Dave Greszcyszyn, Mirela Rahneva and Elisabeth Vathje will all compete on the 2018-19 World Cup circuit. But you’ll be seeing a new last name for Vathje, now competing as Elisabeth Maier following her March wedding to Austrian bobsleigh pilot Benjamin Maier.

All three of the Canadian women stood on World Cup podiums last season before making their Olympic debuts in PyeongChang and will look to continue pushing each other further this winter.

Where is Team Canada competing?

Jane Channell, of Team Canada, starts her first run in the women’s skeleton World Cup race on Friday, Jan. 8, 2016, in Lake Placid, N.Y. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

Canada’s skeleton athletes will hit the same eight IBSF World Cup stops as the bobsledders. They’ll open the season in Sigulda, Latvia December 3-9, compete in Calgary February 23-24 and tackle the World Championships on home ice in Whistler, British Columbia March 1-9. Check out the season calendar here.


Tristan Walker, front, and Justin Snith, of Team Canada, compete during the doubles luge World Cup race in Altenberg, eastern Germany, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)

Which Canadians are competing?

This year’s luge World Cup roster includes PyeongChang 2018 Olympians Brooke Apshkrum, Kimberley McRae, Reid Watts, Justin Snith and Tristan Walker. After helping make Canadian Olympic history, Alex Gough and Sam Edney have stepped aside to put the spotlight on the next generation.

McRae will slide at just two World Cup stops this season (in Calgary and Lake Placid) as well as the world championships while she studies nursing at Mount Royal University in Calgary. That makes Walker and Snith the veteran leaders of the squad. They recently won their ninth straight national doubles title.

At those Canadian championships, some new names made themselves known, including 16-year-old Colton Clarke who won the men’s singles and 20-year-old Kyla Graham who won the women’s singles.

Where is Team Canada competing?

Kimberley McRae of Team Canada competes during the women’s luge World Cup race in Altenberg, eastern Germany, Sunday, Feb. 14, 2016. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)

The FIL World Cup season kicks off in Igls, Austria November 24-25. There are two opportunities to cheer on Team Canada’s athletes at home this season. First, they’ll head to Whistler November 30 – December 1 then to Calgary the following weekend.

This year’s world championships will be held in Winterberg, Germany, January 25-27. The complete season schedule can be found here.