Justin Kripps Joins Canadian Bobsleigh Team’s Medal Winning Coaching Staff
CALGARY—On the heels of parking his sled after an illustrious competitive career, Justin Kripps will rejoin the National Bobsleigh Team trackside as the program’s new technical coach, Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton announced on Friday.
One of the most respected bobsleigh athletes on the international circuit, the 35-year-old Kripps – the only Canadian to pilot both a two- and four-man sled to the Olympic podium – will now launch the next chapter of his storied career by lending his technical driving expertise to a new generation of Canadian athletes.
“Justin achieved his success at the international level while developing through the Canadian system – first as a brakeman and then as a pilot – and will now look to do the same as a coach,” said Chris Le Bihan, high-performance director, Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton.
“He garners tremendous respect. He is a proven performer, and I am confident he will play a key role in delivering a high level of instruction and motivation in a fun, positive and welcoming environment that will ensure our athletes are fully prepared to win against the world’s best. There is no doubt his extensive experience and knowledge of what it takes to hit the start line and win will help ensure Canada’s bobsleigh athletes, in all positions of the sled, work together as a team to continue to chase down the international podium.”
A four-time Olympian, Kripps joined the Canadian Bobsleigh Team in the fall of 2006 as a member of Lyndon Rush’s sled. Later Kripps joined Pierre Lueders’ team as one of his crewmen leading to the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Whistler, B.C.
Following his Olympic debut on home ice, Kripps moved into the pilot’s seat under the coaching guidance of his former teammate Lueders who had transitioned into the coaching ranks. Kripps made his World Cup debut as a pilot in 2012 at the Whistler Sliding Centre, and quickly emerged as one of the top drivers in the world.
Kripps officially called it a career after an impressive run that included winning Olympic gold (2018 PyeongChang two-man), Olympic bronze (2022 Beijing four-man), 10 Crystal Globes, five World Championship titles, and 44 world Cup podiums.
“I’m extremely excited to take on this new role and pass on the knowledge I’ve accumulated over my career,” said Kripps. “I think coaching is the best way for me to have a positive impact on the next generation of athletes. I’m looking forward to working with the program and our team of coaches to help all of these athletes achieve their own performance goals and dreams while developing my own skills as a coach.”
Kripps will be supported in his transition into the coaching ranks while working under the guidance of a dynamic team of international coaches who have all had success on the track as both athletes and coaches. American Todd Hays, an Olympic silver medalist, continues as head coach of the national program. Belgium’s Elfje Willemsen, who competed at the 2018, 2014 and 2010 Olympics, will continue to work with the Canadian program as a technical coach, while Lyndon Rush returns as technical driving coach. The two-time Olympian, Rush, piloted Canada to a four-man bronze medal at the 2010 Olympics.
“I firmly believe continuity is critical to success. These group of coaches bring tremendous experience and insight, and I know they will form a dynamic and supportive team determined to deliver the resources our athletes need and deserve,” added Le Bihan.
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 – Karbon, Joe Rocket Canada, Smartvita, Kuri Tec Corporation, Bells of Steel and Defender Sales Agency – along with the Government of Canada, Own the Podium and the Canadian Olympic Committee, Bobsleigh CANADA Skeleton develops Olympic and world champions. Please visit us at www.bobsleighcanadaskeleton.ca.