BY ROBERT MURRAY – FAN FUEL BLOGGER
Since 2010, each discipline in the Winter Olympic program has undergone significant change. With less than one year to go until the 2014 Games, I’ll be taking a look at what to expect from Canada and the rest of the world in Sochi. Today I take a look at bobsleigh.
What happened in 2010?: Canada tied Germany with a total of three medals, one of each colour, and finished with five finishes within the top 5. German Andre Lange capped off an incredible career with a Gold medal in the two-man event and a Silver medal in the four-man event. Canada completed a rare 1-2 finish in the two-women event.
What has changed?: Canadian icon Pierre Leuders and German superstar André Lange have both retired. 2010 Gold medalist Steve Holcomb of the United States has filled in for both nicely. The German, Latvian and Swiss crews have all proven themselves a threat in both the two and four man events.
Have your say: Have an opinion on the news of the day? Better yet, want to become a Fan Fuel blogger? Email us here. | Hockey Central Insiders answer fan questions – Feb. 27 editionWhat Canadians should I watch?: Lyndon Rush and Jesse Lumsden on the Men’s side. The pair struggled with some inconsistency at the beginning of the year but hung on to win the two-man World Cup. He sits well back in the four-man World Cup standings but could challenge for a top five spot if the conditions are right.
She really needs no introduction but all eyes should be on defending Olympic Gold medalist Kaillie Humphries and her teammate Chelsea Valois. Since January 13, 2012 Humphries has only finished off the podium at at World Cup event once, and that was a fourth place finish, fourteen hundredths of a second out of third place. Expect big things from her in 2014.
Who could spoil the show?: Alexandr Zubkov. After a Silver in 2006 and a Bronze in 2010, Zubkov will have only one colour on his mind in 2014. He laid waste to his fellow competitors in the four-man World Cup this year taking seven podiums, including five victories in only nine races. Also keep an eye out for Switzerland’s Beat Hefti and German teams led by Thomas Florschütz and Manuel Machata.
On the Women’s side, a trio of German teams immediately followed the Canadian squad of Humphries and Valois. Although Humphries didn’t finish off the podium this year, the three events in which she didn’t finish first were won by a German team.