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Natural Luge Press Release
-Redemption Found-

Media AdvisoryAfter a not so stellar showing in Kindberg, the Canadian Natural Luge Team returned to their home away from home in Olang, Italy. First on the agenda was a debrief on the race in Kindberg followed by plans on how to improve for the race in Olang. Everyone felt quite confident that this race would yield much stronger performances than the last.

An interesting note on the race: The Canadian Team made natural luge history when they entered their first ever doubles team into the race. With Kaj Johnson in the drivers seat and Greg Jones holding steady in the caboose, the boys took the first strides in a new direction for Canadian Natural Luge. Unfortunately, the Canadians had no doubles sled to slide with and ended up borrowing one of the rickety sleds from Team Bulgaria. Kaj and Greg were able to control the sled for almost the entire race despite their lack of traction in corners due to the poor runner maintenance the sled had received from the rookie Bulgarian Team. On Kaj and Greg's final run they were unable to correct the sled after a serious overturn and they crashed with only a couple hundred meters to go. Luckily, they were uninjured and remounted the heaped sled and rode to the finish under a shower of cheers from the onlookers.

As for the boys' singles competition, their performances in Olang were far superior to those in Kindberg. Corey and Kaj both had an excellet race, finishing only 15 hundredths apart from one another. They also managed to both have some of their best runs ever on the track for their race runs.

As Kaj stated after the race, "My first race run posted the fasted time I'd ever had on this track. And then in the second run, I did it again. For me that was a huge victory." John Gibson who felt he had been struggling during training stated that after the race he felt optimistic about the rest of the season. "Now I feel ready to really bust it out for the two races in Canada."

Greg Jones unfrotunatley struggled with the gradual slopes to the Olang track and felt his performance could have been stronger. "I just feel as though I can't gain enough acceleration in the straight aways. It's OK though," he assured, "I'm planning on gaining 15 pounds before the races in Canada and then no one will be able to stop me!"

The boys have left Europe now and will be training on their home track in Grande Praire very hard for the next 4 weeks. The Double-Header World Cup races will be held there at the beginning of March and the team promises to be ready for some heated competition.

Canadian Natural Luge Athlete Rep Kaj Johnson

Results

1. Florian BREITENBERGER (ITA), 1:09,35(1), 1:09,62(1), 2:18,97
2. Patrick PIGNETER (ITA), 1:10,00(3), 1:09,75(2), 2:19,75
3. Anton BLASBICHLER (ITA), 1:10,03(4), 1:09,93(3), 2:19,96
16. Corey PUSEY (CAN), 1:12,19(18), 1:11,95(15), 2:24,14
17. Kaj JOHNSON (CAN), 1:12,31(19), 1:11,98(16), 2:24,29
22. John GIBSON (CAN), 1:13,09(23), 1:12,96(22), 2:26,05
31. Greg JONES (CAN), 1:15,00(31), 1:14,24(30), 2:29,24

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