Canadian Natural Luge Media Release for World Cup #1Prior to heading over to Europe for the World Cup season, the Canadian team found themselves in a unique situation of training domestically. It had been a few years since the team had had the privilege of having a track in Canada to train on before the beginning of the season. This year however the track in Grande Prairie was up and iced in mid December which provided the team with two weeks of solid training.
The competitive season began with a World Cup race in St. Sebastian, Austria. The team sent over one athlete to compete in this race. This was Kaj Johnsons first time seeing this particular track and was impressed with the technical design. Luckily, he was able to land a couple training runs on the new track before the weekend of the race. Afterwards, he had a few concerns regarding the last chicane before the finish. It was a very fast section and he figured it would be a location of focus for many athletes during the race.
The race began well for Kaj. His first run had him sitting in 15th position. However, as he had suspected the final chicane presented some minor problems for him and many other athletes on the second run and he unfortunately fell behind one place in the final standings. Regardless, this was Kaj's best World Cup finish to date.
Canadian Natural Luge Media Release for World Cup #2 Umhausen, Austria
This week Kaj was graciously joined by his two teammates, John Gibson and Greg Jones. The team began with a few days of training at the coming World Championships track in Passeier, Italy. Greg Jones suffered a minor crash during training which resulted in a bruised heel and sprained ankle. This injury sidelined him for the upcoming race in Umhausen, Austria. Kaj and John on the other hand, were healthy and well prepared.
This was to be the first night race of the season which always presents difficulties with athlete schedules. So, after a full day of waiting, Kaj and John prepared for their evening runs. The first race runs left John and Kaj in positions 18th and 16th respectively. After a full day of racing, the track's breaking areas had deteriorated which caused Kaj and John minor grief for their final runs. John moved to 21st position and Kaj to fell to 17th. They were obviously slightly disappointed with their fall in the standings but were able to take the good points from the race and are now looking forward to the next World Cup to be held in Unteramergau, Germany.
On another note, Greg is ready to continue training as of today, Janurary 19th, and will be competing next weekend.
All for now.
The Canadian Natural Luge Team