Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton Congratulates CFL on 100th Anniversary of Grey Cup
—Canadian bobsleigh and skeleton athletes offer Grey Cup predictions—
WHISTLER, B.C.—Canadian bobsleigh and skeleton athletes took time out of preparations for this weekend’s 2012 World Cup at the Whistler Sliding Centre to make their Grey Cup predictions and congratulate the Canadian Football League on the 100th playing of Canada’s premiere football game.
From its medal-winning athletes to members of the organization’s Board of Directors, football is deeply rooted in the culture of the Canadian Bobsleigh Team. Over the last decade, coaches at Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton have scoured junior, university and professional football fields across the country in search of the nation’s next Olympic bobsleigh champions.
With pilot Lyndon Rush putting his dreams of playing pro ball on the sidelines to successfully make history in 2010 when he became the first Canadian in 40 years to drive a four-man bobsleigh to the Olympic podium, the sliding sport federation has welcomed a wave of top football players strutting their strength, speed and velocity at sliding sport recruitment camps.
Star running back, Jesse Lumsden, has recently led a new trend of CFL players joining the premier bobsleigh ranks in Canada. Lumsden, who is one of the most talented brakemen in the country, has welcomed the addition of former Toronto Argonaut, Nick Carriere, to the World Cup squad this year, while Hamilton Tiger Cat, Sam Giguere, is competing in his first season on the national development team.
“The CFL and the CIS are definitely arenas we target for recruitment given the training synergies between football and bobsleigh,” said Nathan Cicoria, high-performance director, Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton. “There is a natural progression from football to bobsleigh in much of the training, but pushing on turf and ice is different so it is not for everyone and takes a great deal of commitment to excel at. We value the strength of our relationships with these organizations, and wish the football community a big congratulations on this memorable weekend while our athletes slide for gold ourselves in Whistler.”
Canada’s bobsleigh and skeleton athletes will showcase their athleticism during the lone World Cup stop in Canada at the Whistler Sliding Centre, November 23-24, while keeping a close watch on the Grey Cup festivities in Toronto in the lead-up to the highly-anticipated game.
With red and white close to the hearts of winter sport athletes, not to mention on their Canadian uniforms, it became unanimously clear who the country’s sliding sport athletes will be rooting for on Sunday.
GREY CUP PREDICTIONS:
The trash talking has begun within Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton on who will win the Grey Cup, between the Stamps and Argos. And, well, some just still can’t accept the fact the Riders won’t be on the field.
On the eve of the opening day of the World Cup, many of the athletes took time out of their final training runs Thursday to share in the Grey Cup spirit and serve up their game predictions for media and Canadian sport fans to chew on.
CANADIAN SKELETON TEAM:
Cassie Hawrysh (Brandon, Man.) – Calgary Stampeders – “As sliders we fight for every inch on the ice so the clock will reflect a faster time. It is no different on the field. There is no doubt the Stampeders are going to claw for every inch, and we will see that reflected in their winning score!”
Mellisa Hollingsworth (Eckville, Alta.) – Calgary Stampeders – “They will have their white horse on the field to bring them incredible energy!”
Eric Neilson (Kelowna, B.C.) – Calgary Stampeders – Given I’m a B.C. boy, I’m so chapped that we lost to the Stamps, but I do live in Calgary now so if I’m going for anyone we need to cheer for the west!”
John Fairbairn (Calgary) – Calgary Stampeders – “Nobody can stop Jon Cornish.”
Jon Montgomery (Russell, Man.) – Saskatchewan Roughriders – “Yes, I realize they are not playing in the game, but as part of the Rider Nation, that is just what we do!”
Duff Gibson (Calgary) – Calgary Stampeders – “I grew up in Toronto, but have lived in Calgary for more than 20 years now. Both teams are playing really well right now, but betting with my head, I\'m leaning toward Calgary.”
CANADIAN BOBSLEIGH TEAM:
Emily Baadsvik (St. Stephen, N.B.) – Calgary Stampeders – “I predict Calgary will win 33-29 because they have passion, heart, and well, some of the best looking men in spandex…mmmm!”
Chris Spring (Calgary) – Toronto Argonauts – “The city needs something to boast about instead of always talking about the Leafs glory days.”
Kate O’Brien (Calgary) – Calgary Stampeders – “Prediction or hope I’m not sure. I’m a Calgary girl, born and raised, so of course there is no doubt in my mind that my hometown team will dominate! Go Stamps!!!”
Nick Carriere (Rockland, Ont.) – Toronto Argonauts – “I know the boys on that team and they have the character to get it done. And really, who else am I going to cheer for? Argos for life!”
Jesse Lumsden (Burlington, Ont.) – Calgary Stampeders – “Calgary is coming off two big wins. They are a passionate group who has played through a lot of adversity, are hungry and want to prove that no matter who\'s on the field. If the horse is on the helmet they will find a way to get it done. Red is my colour on the field and the track – Calgary 37-24!”
Lascelles Brown (Calgary) – Calgary Stampeders – “The red and white will win no doubt. Good things come from Calgary including ME!”
Lyndon Rush (Humboldt, Sask.) – Can I say Riders? – “The Riders are out so I am just going to watch for entertainment sake! Go Riders in 2013!”
Whistler World Cup Schedule:
10 a.m. – women’s skeleton race
3 p.m. – 2-man bobsleigh race
6:30 p.m. – women’s bobsleigh race
9 a.m. – men’s 4-man bobsleigh race
3 p.m. – men’s skeleton race
Tickets for the Whistler event can be purchased for $10 now at www.whistler.com, by calling 1.800.WHISTLER (1.800.944.7853), or in person at the Whistler Ticketing Kiosk. Children six and under are free. A WILL CALL pick-up booth will be set up at the Whistler Blackcomb ticketing kiosk beside the Excalibur Gondola on November 22, 23, and 24.Spectators can also purchase tickets by CASH ONLY on site at the Whistler Sliding Centre.
Bobsleigh CANADA Skeleton is a non-profit organization and the national governing body for the sports of bobsleigh and skeleton in Canada. With the support of its valued corporate partners – Dow Chemical, Adidas, KBC Helmets, Eurotech – Viking Engineering, SAIT Polytechnic, Conceptum Sport Logistics, Therapeutica – along with the Government of Canada, Canadian Olympic Committee and Own the Podium, Bobsleigh CANADA Skeleton develops Olympic and world champions. Please visit us at www.bobsleighcanadaskeleton.ca.