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Post-Olympic World Cup season starts in Canada
Whistler (RWH): The BMW IBSF World Cup is back in Canada. Whistler Sliding Centre will provide the backdrop for athletes from the International Bobsleigh & Skeleton Federation (IBSF) battling it out in the racing series’ opening event to the 2022/2023 post-Olympic winter season. Prior to the break resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic, the track to the north of Vancouver hosted the BMW IBSF World Championships in 2019.
A number of athletes to race in Whistler for the first time
The race at the Whistler track – which hosted the 2010 Olympic sliding events – will be a first for many European athletes, including Hannah Neise and Laura Nolte (both GER), the Olympic Champions in the women’s skeleton and 2-woman bobsleigh from Beijing 2022, neither of whom have raced in Whistler before. In contrast, however, athletes like Nicole Silveira will be arriving in Whistler with some very positive memories: Over the past twelve months, the Brazilian athlete has competed in seven North American and Intercontinental Cup skeleton races on the 2010 Olympic track, celebrating four victories and also starting the new season with two second-place finishes.
Home team secures wins in Whistler in the North American Cup
In early November, Canada’s home team kicked off the winter and prepared themselves for the start of the World Cup series with two races in Whistler for the North American Cup – and to great success. In the 2-woman bobsleigh, Bianca Ribi celebrated her first two wins in the racing series and also finished second and third in the monobob. And her team-mate Cynthia Appiah joined her on the podium in every event: with a silver medal in the 2-woman bobsleigh and one win and one second-place finish in the monobob. Taylor Austin climbed the podium four times, twice in the 2-man bobsleigh and twice in the 4-man event. And Canada’s skeleton athletes Mark Lynch and Jaclyn Laberge celebrated two top-six results each in their North American Cup races in Whistler.
Women’s monobob makes its début as a World Cup discipline
The women’s monobob event is officially joining the World Cup programme for the 2022/2023 winter season. After two seasons as the Women’s Monobob World Series and its Olympic début at the Winter Games in Beijing, the discipline is now fully integrated into the International Bobsleigh & Skeleton Federation’s (IBSF) racing series – including the BMW IBSF World Cup, European Cup and North American Cup. As such, this season will mark the first time that overall winners will be crowned in the women’s monobob in each racing series, along with the first overall titles for the combined standings of monobob and 2-woman bobsleigh.
Whistler’s last World Cup winners
The only of the last World Cup winners from Whistler set to compete at the opening to the 2022/2023 BMW IBSF World Cup season are the bobsleigh pilots Chris Spring (CAN, 2-man bobsleigh) and Kaillie Humphries (2-woman bobsleigh). At the time of her last win, Humphries was competing for Canada but she now races for Team USA. The winner from the women’s skeleton event Jacqueline Lölling (GER) is still active but is currently racing in the Intercontinental Cup as the 2018 Olympic silver medallist did not qualify for the German World Cup team. Lamin Deen (GBR, 4-man bobsleigh) retired as an athlete before the start of the season. And Sungbin Yun (men’s skeleton), the 2018 Olympic Champion, is not competing this season either. ©RWH2022
Opening World Cup event in Whistler
Subject to changes – Up-to-date times (local time at the track and the user’s local time) are listed on the IBSF website. ©RWH2022
On the sidelines
For the first time in almost 20 years, there will be no athletes by name of Dukurs on the starting list in the 2022/2023 BMW IBSF World Cup. With 61 World Cup wins, eleven overall wins, six World Championship gold medals, eleven European Championship titles and two Olympic silver medals, the most successful men’s skeleton athlete in sporting history Martins Dukurs (LAT) retired as an athlete following the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. However, the 38-year-old is staying loyal to skeleton: The British Bobsleigh and Skeleton Association (BBSA) has secured the Latvian’s services as a performance coach. Tomass Dukurs, who shared the 2016 European Championship title with his brother, will not be competing in the 2022/2023 season either. The 41-year-old secured Latvia’s first World Cup victory in February 2004; he then waited 18 more years to stand on top of the World Cup podium for a second time after another gold in late December 2021. Coincidentally, the runner-up in the 2013, 2014 and 2015 overall World Cup celebrated both of his victories on his home track in Sigulda. ©RWH2022
The defending World Cup title holder Elana Meyers Taylor (USA) will spend the 2022/2023 season pushing a buggy instead of a bobsleigh. The 38-year-old and her husband Nic Taylor are due to welcome their second child soon to join son Nico, who will be turning three in February. At the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing, Elana Meyers Taylor – who was the 2015 and 2017 World Champion – won silver in the monobob and bronze in the 2-woman bobsleigh. In the summer, she was elected as the athlete’s representative on the USA’s Olympic & Paralympic Committee’s Board of Directors. The Women’s Sports Foundation awarded Elana Meyers Taylor the Wilma Rudolph Courage Award 2022 on account of her status as an inspiration and role model who has overcome many obstacles and shown extraordinary courage in her sporting achievements. ©RWH2022
Foundation of the FIBT on 23 November 1923 in Paris
Lausanne (RWH) Immediately before the start of the BMW IBSF World Cup in Whistler (CAN), an important date stands in the calendar of the International Bobsleigh & Skeleton Federation. On 23 November 1923, five personalities gathered in Paris and founded the Federation International de Bobsleigh et de Tobabbing (FIBT).
The founding members were Franz Reichel (France), Major B-M. Patton (Great Britain), Allan Muhr (USA), Pierre Golay (Switzerland) and Count Comte Renaud de la Frégeolière (France). The delegates at that time elected the French nobleman as the first President of the FIBT. Comte Renaud de la Frégeolière, who was to hold office for 37 years, signed all the necessary documents on the same day to fulfil the mandate of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Just one year later, a 4-man bobsleigh race was held at the first Winter Olympic Games in Chamonix, France.
Today, the umbrella organisation, which officially renamed itself the International Bobsleigh & Skeleton Federation (IBSF) in 2015, is a modern and innovative sports federation with its headquarters in Lausanne (SUI) and a branch in Großgmain near Salzburg (AUT). The IBSF represents currently 79 member associations from all five continents. Since 2010, the Italian Ivo Ferriani is president of the IBSF.
The IBSF holds races in eight disciplines: 2-man bob, 4-man bob, 2-woman bob, Monobob (women, youth), men's skeleton, women's skeleton and para-bob. In addition to the Olympic Games and World Championships, the IBSF organises World Cup, Europe Cup, Intercontinental Cup and North American Cup races, as well as recently introduced new events, like Asian Cup, Youth Series and Para-Sport competitions.
The IBSF cooperates with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and other International Federations on all matters relating to the governance of sport and the Olympic family. The IBSF recognises and respects the Olympic Charter and supports the ideal of fair play in sport. ©RWH2022
The Olympic Champions and defending title holders – Skeleton
The Olympic Champions and defending title holders – Bobsleigh
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