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Jenna Conter: Jamaica made Olympic sledding cool

Bobsleigh
Bobsleigh - 123RF Stock Photo

Growing up I had a friend whose house was essentially a square that encased the stairs that led from the bottom floor to the top. We’d play fun games of chase-the-chubby-kid until I’d throw up grape juice all over their white carpet.

This is the memory that comes to mind when watching men’s team pursuit speed skating.

Clearly the sleep deprivation has begun to take hold. The “you start here” and “we’ll start over here” event confuses me. But much like my questioning as to why one would stand atop a near 500-foot ski slope with the intention of skiing down it, launch and become a flying squirrel, I smile and nod and be thankful for my short athletic career in the safety of a swimming pool.

Enjoy all the Armchair athleticism, follow the Games here.

But I digress, as now is not a time to dwell. Now is not the time to be continually sucked into the lullaby that is the ongoing marathon of curling. No, no. Now is the time when we start to feel the rhythm, feel the rhyme, get on up (before the crack of dawn) because it’s bobsled time! Coooooooool Runnnnnnings…..!!!

Jenna Conter
Jenna Conter

Let’s all pour a little coffee out in honour of our very own John Candy and the 1993 film that put bobsledding forever in our hearts and minds. Of course there’ve been several noticeable changes and upgrades to the sport since then. The sleds are lighter, the athletes, at least for the two-man, are larger. In two-man, you have a pilot and a break man. In the four, you gain the additional two pushers (dudes in the middle).

The Cool Runnings instructional guide holds true. The bobsled is set at the top of the track and on the go is pushed, at a max sprint, up to 50 metres along the track before the athletes hop in and hunker down all successfully done for most in a little under 5 seconds.

Canada showcased its three sleds during the first and second of four runs. Canada 1 is sitting pretty in the silver medal position while Canada 2 and 3 share the 10th place ranking. Family Day will bring us the chance to watch runs 3 and 4 and hopefully see one of our sled teams add to our slowly growing medal count, sitting at this point at 16 – two behind Germany and, well, Norway clearly doesn’t do anything but train for winter Olympic events. They hold number one at 26 medals.

Short Snappers:

Canada’s boys in red took the win from host country South Korea in a 4-0 hockey game. Our ladies will take on the Olympic Athletes of ‘Roids, I mean Russia, Monday morning.

Men’s aerials saw our Olivier Rochon’s Olympic debut land him in fifth at the final.

Canada’s Marsha Hudey took 10th with Heather McLean finding 14th in the Ladies 500m speed skating with Japan taking gold.

Don’t worry – there is still more curling to come.

And biathlon still doesn’t make any sense to me, which seems to be our nation’s stance, as we weren’t even represented in the 15km men’s mass start. S’ok. Remember the luge relay? Awesome.

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