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Canada's Jeff Christie gearing up for 2006 Olympic Winter Games
-Luge athlete and teammates cranking it up a notch

Media AdvisoryThe final result might have fallen below his expectations, but Canada's Jeff Christie stepped off the track with his focus and desire intact after men's singles World Cup luge action on Saturday.

Christie, who entered Saturday's race fresh off two of the finest performances of his career at World Cup races held last month in Calgary and Lake Placid, garnered a 23rd-place result after posting a two-run time of 1:37.500.

With the Olympics drawing near, Christie and his fellow luging Canucks are entering a particularly intense phase of the training cycle to ensure they're in optimal performance mode when they hit the Torino track.

"We're starting to ramp things up now. We want to be 100 per cent on our game by the time the Olympics start," said Christie, 22, who clinched his Olympic berth last month after rocketing to a career-best fifth-place finish on his home track in Calgary.

"I honestly felt I didn't slide my best on the two runs I did today," added Christie. "It was a bit disappointing, but that's the way it goes sometimes. My main focus right now is to ensure I'm at my best in Torino, and that I feel comfortable on my sled and with my starts."

Joining Christie on the track was teammate Sam Edney, who recently forsook doubles competition to focus his energies exclusively on the men's singles discipline. The 21-year-old Calgary native, also a member of Canada's Olympic luge squad, clocked in for a total time of 1:37.750 and 29th place.

Earning the top spot on the podium for the second consecutive World Cup event was Italy's Armin Zoggeler, who took the gold medal in a time of 1:36.072. American Tony Benshoof, meanwhile, staked out the silver medal with a two-run time of 1:36.160. Rounding out the top sleds was German sliding legend Georg Hackl, who posted a two-heat total of 1:36.235 on his way to the bronze medal.

The Canadian Luge Team returns to action next weekend in Igls, Austria, for the seventh installment of the 2005-06 Viessmann World Cup tour.

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 www.luge.ca on the Internet.

For complete results, see www.fil-luge.org

Men's Singles Top-Five Results (31 sleds):
1. Armin Zoggeler, ITA, 1:36.072; 2. Tony Benshoof, USA, 1:36.160; 3.Georg Hackl, GER, 1:36.235; 4. Andi Graitl, GER, 1:36.319; 5. David Moller, GER, 1:36.349.

Canadian Men's Results:
23. Jeff Christie, Vancouver, 1:37.500; 29. Sam Edney, Calgary, 1:37.750.

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