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New Season Starts with a Bang for Canada's Albrecht & Pothier

The Canadian national luge team launched the 2002-2003 season with day one of the First Viessmman World Cup, which is taking place over the weekend at the Olympic luge/bobsled/skeleton venue in Park City.

For the first time in years, Canada had a full slate of competitors in the women's event, which was held earlier this morning. Regan Lauscher, the veteran of the Canadian team, finished in 8th place, 1.045 off the gold medal pace set by Germany's Sylke Otto.

Of the three Canadian newcomers, Monica Gorham, of Calgary, inaugurated her national team career with a 16th place, while Madison Dupuis, also of Calgary, finished 22nd. The youngest member of the team, Meaghan Simister, was competitive in the first heat, but crashed in the second heat and did not post a final time.

It was a German sweep as Sylke Otto was joined on the podium by teammates Silke Kraushaar, (silver) and Barbara Niedernhuber (bronze).

In the doubles event, the Canadian duo of Eric Pothier and Grant Albrecht finished in 4th place, missing the podium by a bare 0.031 second. Although both Albrecht and Pothier are veteran doubles sliders, this is the first race for the duo, which was formed following the retirement of their Olympic partners at the end of the last season.

Canada's rookie pair of Marshall Savill and Winston Davis finished in 16th place and was followed by the other Canadian newcomers, Sam Edney and Gwyn Lewis in 17th place.

The American team of Grimmette and Martin delighted the hometown crowd with their gold medal time of 1:27.641. Germany's powerhouse pair of Leitner and Resch won the silver medal while Austria's Linger and Linger took the bronze.

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Source: Jennifer Pashniak, CLA
Information: Tim Farstad, CLA-OLTC (403) 616-1397 or gsnefgnq@pbqn.no.pn