Canada’s Lyndon Rush Drives Four-Man Sled to Bronze Medal Win at Bobsleigh World Cup in Italy

CESANA, Ita.—Canada’s Lyndon Rush shocked the world again after driving his Canada 1 four-man bobsleigh to a bronze medal finish at the World Cup in Cesana, Italy on Sunday.

The 29-year-old from Humboldt, Sask. and his Calgary-based crew of Chris Le Bihan, Dan Humphries and Lascelles Brown joined forces to clock a two-run time of one minute 51.67 seconds.

“We are just so ecstatic right now as a team,” said Rush following the race. “The whole package is coming together for us right now. We have a good attitude, we trust our equipment, the push is good and we have a good belief that we can do it.”

While the belief is strong in all four members of the squad, the podium finish was a bit of a shock for the former football player with the University of Saskatchewan Huskies who had a difficult week of training on the 19-corner 2006 Olympic Track in Italy, which also led to a less than desirable 13th-place result in Saturday’s two-man race.

“I am completely surprised with this result and never expected a medal that’s for sure,” said Rush. “I had a really bad week of training and was really upset at the two-man result, but we were able to pull things together today and I’m thrilled.”

It was the second medal finish of his career, second of the season, and first on a European track. Rush made a breakthrough at the season-opening event this year when he won the four-man race in Park City, Utah.

“For as long as I’ve known Lyndon, he has always been a little bit stronger in the four-man,” said Tuffy Latour, head coach, Canadian Bobsleigh Team. “I think Lyndon maybe was driving a little too much this week in the two-man and kept telling himself that down the track. This is a great result for him, and I’m expecting to see better results from him in both the two- and four-man once we get to Altenberg as that is a track he likes.”

Rush was joined on the podium by Steven Holcomb who drove the USA 1 sled to gold with his crew of Justin Olsen, Steve Mesler and Curtis Tomasevicz. The USA 1 sled clocked a winning time of 1:51.22. Ivo Rueeg, Roman Handschin, Cedric Grand and Patrick Bloechligen teamed up in the Switzerland 1 sled to post a silver-medal winning time of 1:51.63.

Pierre Lueders piloted the only other Canadian sled in Sunday’s race. The legendary Canadian pilot and his crew of Edmonton’s Neville Wright and Jesse Lumsden, along with Justin Kripps, of Summerland, B.C., were in sixth spot after the opening run, but settled for 10th (1:52.05) after a difficult second heat.

Canada’s Bobsleigh and Skeleton Teams will now head to Winterberg, Germany for a series of World Cup races next week.

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Top-Five Men’s Four-Man Bobsleigh Results:

1.Holcomb/Olsen/Mesler/Tomasevicz, USA 1, 1:51.22; 2. Rueegg/Handschin/Grand/Bloechligen, SUI 1, 1:51.63; 3. Rush, Humboldt, Sask./Le Bihan, Calgary/Humphries, Calgary/Brown, Calgary, CAN 1, 1:51.67; 4. Minins/Dreiskens/Melbardis/Dambis, LAT 1, 1:51.72; 5. Hefti/Egger/Lamparter/Aebli, SUI 2, 1:51.86.

Other Canadian Results:

10. Lueders, Edmonton/Lumsden, Edmonton/Wright, Edmonton/Kripps, Summerland, B.C., 1:52.05.