US team among the favourites – Anne O’Shea celebrated first World Cup victory at Lake Placid
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Lake Placid (RWH): Lake Placid (USA) really is a placid little place, or it is until a major sporting event comes to town. One such occasion is the second stop of the 2016/2017 BMW IBSF Bobsleigh and Skeleton World Cup, which will arrive in Mount Van Hoevenberg this weekend (16–17 December).
Lake Placid hosted the 1932 and 1980 Olympics and has also provided the setting for the bobsleigh and skeleton World Championships a total of ten times to date. The last time World Championship medals were awarded at this traditional and technically challenging track was back in 2012. The US hosts were the most successful nation that year, winning four golds and one bronze. At the last World Cup event in Lake Placid in January 2016, the hosts celebrated three wins: In the women’s bobsleigh, the Olympic bronze medallist Jamie Greubel Poser and Cherrelle Garrett took the top spot. Steven Holcomb, the 2012 World Champion, and Carlo Valdes won the men’s event. In the women’s skeleton, Anne O’Shea celebrated her first World Cup victory in front of a home crowd in Lake Placid.
At the second round of the BMW IBSF World Cup in the 2016/2017 pre-Olympic season, the athletes from the US team once again stand a good chance of receiving some medals. In the women's bobsleigh, the US teams are some of the leading competitors facing defending World Cup champion and winner of the opening race, Kaillie Humphries (CAN). As well as Jamie Greubel Poser, who finished in third place in Whistler, Elana Meyers Taylor is also expected to perform well in Lake Placid. The 2015 World Champion was on track for gold in Whistler after breaking a starting record but ended up missing out due to a crash.
The host nation also has three teams starting in the two-men and four-men bobsleigh events: Steven Holcomb (2010 Olympic Champion in the four-men event and 2012 World Champion in the two-men and four-men bobsleigh) will be joined by two other pilots, Codie Bascue and Justin Olsen. Olsen was one of Steven Holcomb’s brakesmen for his 2010 Olympic victory and will be making his World Cup début behind the steering ropes in the four-man event. Bobsleigh fans can also look forward to seeing two female crews in the four-man bobsleigh event: Local hero Elana Meyers Taylor is planning her start for Lake Placid, alongside Kaillie Humphries of Canada, the 2010 and 2014 Olympic Champion in the women’s bobsleigh.
Chances are also looking good for the US team’s skeleton athletes: At the pre-Olympic season’s opening event in Whistler, Matthew Antoine celebrated his first podium finish since January 2015. In the women’s skeleton, Anne O’Shea’s first victory in the racing series came at the last World Cup in Lake Placid.
Lake Placid will also evoke some particularly fond memories for a skeleton athlete from team GB: It provided the setting for Lizzy Yarnold’s surprise bronze medal win in the 2012 World Championships back at the beginning of her career. British Skeleton’s then youngest member beat her teammates Shelley Rudman – who had just won the overall World Cup – and Olympic Champion Amy Williams back to fourth and fifth. The then 23-year-old had only just joined the World Cup at the beginning of 2012, where she also celebrated two surprising victories. Since then, Lizzy Yarnold has added the 2014 Olympic gold, the 2015 World and European Championship titles, and the 2013/2014 overall World Cup win to her trophy cabinet – all within the short space of just 400 days.
Overall, athletes and teams from seven countries celebrated a podium finish at the first weekend in the 2016/2017 World Cup in Whistler. Sports fans at the track in Lake Placid and spectators enjoying the live streams and TV coverage around the world can look forward to five more exciting races at the second BMW IBSF Bobsleigh and Skeleton World Cup. ©RWH2016-2017
New draw system in place for the bobsleigh and skeleton World Cup
Lake Placid (RWH): A new system has been introduced for drawing the starting numbers ahead of the races at the BMW IBSF World Cup 2016/2017: The top ten pilots in the current IBSF discipline rankings will be drawn for the assignment of starting numbers 6 to 15. The starting numbers 1 to 5 will also be drawn from pilots currently holding points in the ranking list. All remaining pilots will start according to their position in the current IBSF discipline rankings, starting from number 16 to the final competitor (see http://www.ibsf.org/en/standings).
Further information is available in the IBSF International Rules. PDF copies are available to download from http://www.ibsf.org/en/downloads under the menu option “Sports – International Rules”. ©RWH2016-2017
New IBSF media guides: Information on events and athletes
Lake Placid (RWH): The IBSF International Bobsleigh & Skeleton Federation has issued new media guides for the 2016/2017 BMW IBSF Bobsleigh and Skeleton World Cup.
Media guide - Event information for the entire BMW IBSF World Cup season: This guide outlines key information concerning bobsleigh and skeleton, the IBSF International Rules, the new IBSF draw system and all of the tracks.
Media guides - Athletes for both bobsleigh and skeleton for each round of the World Cup: This guide lists all bobsleigh pilots and skeleton athletes due to start at the BMW IBSF World Cup, including a profile with an overview of their results, the latest World Cup standings, and an interesting insight into their backgrounds.
The media guides are available on the IBSF website at http://www.ibsf.org/en/media-contacts. The Athletes media guides are updated prior to each World Cup and World Championship event. ©RWH2016-2017
Keep up to date with bobsleigh and skeleton news on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube
Lake Placid (RWH): As usual, all the latest news, start lists, race results, lots of photos and videos, and a wealth of information about the BMW IBSF bobsleigh and skeleton World Cup will be available on various social media platforms:
The official hashtag for the World Cup is #BMWworldcup.
A live ticker for all World Cup races, results lists showing all race times and overall times and the latest World Cup standings can be found on the IBSF website http://www.ibsf.org/en.
Over 40 countries around the world are showing TV coverage of the BMW IBSF World Cup races. You can find a list of current TV partners at: http://www.ibsf.org/en/broadcasters.
What’s more, NBC (in the USA), CBC (in Canada), www.ibsf.org and the IBSF YouTube channel http://www.youtube.com/user/bobskeletv (available in almost all other countries) also broadcast all races as live streams, with commentary provided by Martin Haven and John Morgan on the IBSF channels. ©RWH2016-2017
Lake Placid timetable
On the sidelines
John Daly (USA) is planning his comeback as a skeleton athlete. Daly, who finished eighth in the overall World Cup standings in 2014, turned his back on the sport following the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi (RUS). His reasons? The now 31-year-old was ranked fourth ahead of the fourth Olympic heat, stepping up to the starting line with strong chances of receiving a medal. However, his runner slipped out of the starting groove during the push-off, leading to Daly finishing in 15th place. “I was devastated and I was irate” explained John Daly in a recent article on teamusa.org. “I turned my back on the sport, honestly.” However, he never truly forgot about skeleton completely. John Daly returned to the track for the first time in March 2016, acting as a forerunner for the US Championships in Lake Placid. He then returned for training in the autumn, when he plotted his journey back to the World Cup. He plans to start in the North America Cup events in Park City and Lake Placid and one European Cup event in St. Moritz so that he can take part in the five races on three different tracks required under IBSF International Rules. “Never thought I'd say this but, I'm back” announced John Daly on his Twitter page in November, sharing the news of his comeback. ©RWH2016-2017
Jazmine and Surf Fenlator-Victorian (JAM) and the rest of the Jamaican bobsleigh team received a warm welcome in Calgary. According to a report by the Canadian broadcaster CBC, the team’s van broke down on their way to the North American Cup in Whistler – in the very same city where Jamaica’s first ever bobsleigh team slid into the hearts of sports fans at the 1988 Winter Olympics almost 30 years ago. The story of the original team was later made famous around the world thanks to the film “Cool Running”.
It didn’t take the twelve athletes long to find a lift from Calgary to the Canada Olympic Park and their story soon sparked a wave of good deeds across social media. For example, a local car dealership donated a hire van to replace their broken one.
Two pilots in Jamaica’s bobsleigh team are previous members of the US team: Jazmine Fenlator-Victorian finished in eleventh place in the women’s bobsleigh at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi and third in the overall World Cup in 2015. Her husband Surf Fenlator-Victorian was the brakesman for Steven Holcomb, Nick Cunningham and Codie Bascue. He achieved his best result with Steven Holcomb: a victory in the two-man bobsleigh at the IBSF North American Cup in Park City in November 2014 and sixth place in the four-man bobsleigh World Cup at Lake Placid in December 2014. ©RWH2016-2017
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