Luge Canada Names 2021-22 National World Cup Team Focused on Beijing
CALGARY—Olympic medallists Tristan Walker and Justin Snith will carry the torch and guide a new generation of Canadian luge athletes who are poised to make their mark on the World Cup stage while sliding on tracks around the world.
Walker (Cochrane, Alta.) and Snith (Calgary) will be counted on to provide leadership to the new-look World Cup Luge Team that includes four women and five men. The 30-year-old, three-time Olympians, are hungry to slide their way back onto the World Cup podium in doubles racing during the critical 2022 season. They will be joined by 22-year-old Reid Watts (Whistler, B.C.) – a bronze medallist at the 2016 Youth Olympic Games, and a 12th-place finisher as a teenager in PyeongChang – as the only Olympians on the young squad. Watts will be the lone Canadian in men’s singles action.
“I see a lot of potential for everyone on the Team this year, and I know we are all looking forward to getting into some international competition,” said Tristan Walker. “Justin and I are particularly excited to have another doubles team to mentor this season. It’s full circle from our first year on the team back in 2010.”
The doubles team will also include Calgarians, 20-year-old Cole Zajanski and 19-year-old Devin Wardrope, who will compete full time on the World Cup for the first time this year. The young doubles squad finished 13th in their lone World Cup start in 2020.
The Canadian men will be joined on the Word Cup by a group of four young women poised to make their Olympic debut this winter in their continued development. The women’s team will consist of two athletes from British Columbia and two from Calgary.
Trinity Ellis (Pemberton, B.C.) is sliding into her third season on the World Cup at just 19 years old. Ellis demonstrated her potential with an eighth-place finish in women’s singles to kick off the 2019 season. She will be joined by reigning Canadian women’s champion, Makena Hodgson (Calgary), as well as 18-year-old World Cup rookies, Kailey Allan (Calgary), and Natalie Corless (Whistler, B.C.). Corless joined forces with Caitlin Nash (Whistler, B.C.) to win the silver medal in the women’s doubles race at the 2020 Youth Olympic Games.
“Luge Canada has created a strategic performance plan focused on long term athlete development while ensuring the health of our athletes. Tristan and Justin have proven they can deliver results on the ultimate stage, while Reid is now ready to make his mark on the elite circuit,” said Tim Farstad, executive director, Luge Canada. “With those three Olympic veterans leading the way, we will work on gradual, and consistent development with this promising pool of athletes, with the ultimate goal of peaking in 2026 and 2030 Games. This group is driven and determined to continue their development and see the maple leaf above the podium at the luge venue.”
With the early start to the season, the Canadian Luge Team completed their selection races in Sigulda, Latvia last week. The squad then travelled to Winterberg, Germany for a brief training block before they head to Beijing, China, November 4, for their first look at the Olympic Track. The International Luge Federation will hold an international training week capped off with a Test Event, November 16-21.
The following is a complete World Cup schedule.
Beijing CHN – Nov. 16-21 (Beijing Test Event)
Sochi, RUS – Nov. 24-29
Sochi, RUS – Dec. 1-5
Altenberg, GER – Dec. 8-12
Igls, AUT – Dec. 14-19
Winterberg, GER – Dec. 27 – Jan. 2
Sigulda, LAT – Jan. 5-9
Oberhof, GER – Jan. 18-16
St. Moritz, SUI – Jan. 18-23
Beijing, CHN – Feb. 4-20 (Olympic Winter Games)
The Canadian Luge Association is a not-for-profit organization responsible for governing the sport of luge across the country. With the financial backing of from the Government of Canada, Canadian Olympic Committee and Own the Podium, the Canadian Luge Association safely recruits and develops the nation’s current and future high-performance luge athletes with the goal of regularly climbing onto the international podium. For more information on the Canadian Luge Association, please visit us at www.luge.ca on the Internet.