Her story is luge history
By WES GILBERTSON, QMI Agency
It took two to make history.
Luger Alex Gough is optimistic there will be more to come.
The born-and-bred Calgarian captured her second-career bronze medal in Friday’s World Cup race in Park City, Utah, becoming the first Canadian luger to make multiple trips to the podium on the top international circuit.
“I know that I have the ability, and I’m fast enough, for sure,” Gough said. “Definitely, I’m going for it every race and no longer happy with finishing top-eight. Now, I want to be on the podium. It might not happen every race, but it’ll happen again.”
Already a two-time Olympian at the ripe old age of 23, Gough is one of the rising stars of the luging circuit.
Two weeks ago, she became just the fourth Canadian to win a World Cup medal when she bagged a bronze in Winterberg, Germany.
On Friday, with a combined two-run time of one minute 27.346 seconds in Park City, she repeated the feat and put her name in the history books once again.
“It’s such a great feeling,” Gough said. “And it’s a great thing for the program, not only for myself, to see the results of the hard work and everything that’s happened in the last few years — bringing new coaches and new training to our program — pay off. Not only am I really proud of myself, but I really want to see my teammates reach this level, and they all have the potential to do that.
“And it’s great for them to see that pay off, as well.”
Germany’s Wolfgang Staudinger became Canada’s national luge coach three-and-a-half years ago. Although Germans continue to dominate the podium, Staudinger is optimistic Gough and her teammates will be factors for years to come.
“When you have a system that works, then you can actually repeat performances. It’s not just lucky shots,” Staudinger said. “It’s always an achievement to be in the top-three, but you want to be able to reproduce it, to achieve it consistently. That system hasn’t been in place in the past, but the system now is in place, and now we’re able to reproduce results.”