Luge Canada

Canada's Jeff Christie slides to 17th spot at Veissmann Luge World Cup
-First run cancelled due to bad weather con

Media AdvisoryIt was an unusual start to the Olympic season for Canada's Jeff Christie when he slid into 17th spot in men's singles action at the Viessmann Luge World Cup in Sigulda, Latvia on Sunday.

Due to poor weather conditions, the competition jury cancelled the first run of the event. "Jeff had his first run in the morning and the ice was well off international standards," said Water Corey, head coach of the Canadian Luge Team.

The athletes slid for a second time after the results from the first run were scrapped. However, with weather conditions wreaking havoc on the track, the plug was pulled on the competition after the second, and only official, run of the day.

"It was really cold here for a while and then the weather got warm the last couple of days, so there were issues with maintaining the quality of the ice on the track," said Christie.

Nevertheless, Christie's 17th-place finish represented his best ever result at Sigulda. The 23-year-old Calgary native and reigning Canadian champion had a one-run time of 51.386.

Despite the lackluster track conditions, he said it provided a good rush of adrenaline to kick off the 2005-06 World Cup campaign. "It actually felt pretty good. The level of competition goes up and it pushes you harder."

In a major triumph, defending World Cup titleholder Albert Demchenko claimed the gold in the men's singles event with a one-run time of 50.683. The six-time World Cup winner was a question mark heading into the first race of the Olympic year due to life-threatening complications he suffered after an appendectomy.

Joining Demchenko on the podium was Tony Benshoof of the U.S. team, who slid to second spot with a time of 50.759, while Latvia's Martins Rubenis took the bronze medal after clocking in at 50.877.

The next race on the World Cup circuit takes place November 18-19 in Torino, Italy, the site of the 2006 Olympic Winter Games.

The Canadian Luge Associaton is the governing body for luge racing in Canada. In partnership with CODA, the Canadian Luge Association operates the Olympic Luge Training Centre at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary, which develops our nation's high-performance luge athletes and promotes the sport across the country. For more information on the Canadian Luge Association, please visit us at on the Internet.

Men's Singles Top-Five Results: (31 Sleds)
1.Albert Demchenko, RUS, 1:27:680; 2. Tony Benshoof, USA, 50.759; 3. Martins Rubenis, LAT, 50.877; 4. Viktor Kneib, RUS, 50.930; 5. Armin Zoggeler, ITA, 50.952.

Canadian Men's Results:
17.Jeff Christie, CAN, 51.386.

- 30 -

Chris Dornan
CODA, Communications Specialist
C: 403-585-0254