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Future of Canadian Luge Team looks bright with Andrea Petersen
-Sliding rookie posts bronze medal result in her Ju

Media AdvisoryAs the Canadian senior luge squad gears up to host the world today and tomorrow on its home track in Calgary, the national program received another boost with the stellar results achieved by one of its fledgling young athletes on the Junior World Cup tour.

In her racing debut on the circuit, 16-year-old Andrea Petersen unleashed an impressive bronze medal performance by posting a time of 1:25.794 in junior women's competition.

"This felt really great," said the jubilant youngster, who first tried her hand on the luge track at age 12. "I felt relaxed going into the competition and I was really excited about my finish."

Petersen trailed only two competitors in the tight race. Italy's Vera Schwiebacher took the gold with a two-heat time of 1:25.664, while Ukrainian prospect Maryna Halaydzhyan clocked in at 1:25.686 for the silver medal.

A native of Calgary, Petersen first got acquainted with luge through an outdoor education course she took in junior high school. Taken with the sliding sport, she signed up for a recruitment camp at Canada Olympic Park and ultimately received an invitation onto the Canadian novice team.

"I really like the speed and feeling of having a good run, plus the pressure of racing around the corners," she said.

Petersen plans to continue racing with hopes of joining the Canadian senior team and representing Canada in luge at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

The national program has produced a number of talented female competitors in recent seasons after fielding only one athlete, Regan Lauscher, at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. Since that time, the 25-year-old Lauscher has been joined on the senior squad by a talented trio of teenagers in Meaghan Simister, Madison Dupuis and Alex Gough.

"The growth of our women's team is indicative of the strength of our recruitment and development program," said Tim Farstad, executive director, Canadian Luge Association. "With the strength of the athletes we currently have on the senior team, and the potential of Andrea Petersen, we can be ensured the women's squad will be very competitive in the seasons to come."

For more information on the Canadian Luge Association, please visit us at www.luge.ca on the Internet.

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