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British Columbia Boys Win Overall Youth Luge World Cup Titles

Adam Shippit wins individual youth title, Mat Riddle and Reid Watts claim doubles crown

For the first time in the history of the national luge program, the Canadians have captured both both the youth men’s and doubles overall World Cup titles.

Adam Shippit, of Pemberton, B.C. captured the youth men’s title. Shippit got his season off to a golden start, winning two straight races on his home track in Whistler. The 15 year old slid into the winner’s circle two more times in Park City and Igls, Austria. He locked up the title with a fifth-place finish in Germany this weekend.

“To me this is verification of the hard work and long hours that myself, and everyone that has supported me, put in to make me better,” said Shippit. “It means a lot to me, but I know that I must work even harder to become that much better in order to repeat next year.”

Shippit becomes just the second Canadian male to win the overall youth crown. Two-time Olympian, Jeff Christie also finished on top in his final year sliding in the youth division in 2000. Three-time Olympian and current World Cup athlete, Sam Edney, is the only Canadian male to win the overall Junior World Cup crown in the 2003 season.

The dominance by British Columbia athletes continued into the doubles races this year. Whistler-based teammates, Mat Riddle and Reid Watts racked up two wins and one bronze-medal finish to become the first Canadians ever to win the youth doubles overall World Cup title. The B.C. teens won on their home track in Whistler, Park City and grabbed the bronze in Oberhof, Germany.

“I am so proud to win the overall. It just shows how much dedication and hard work we have put into the season with our coaches and parents,” said Riddle. “The intensity that Reid and I put into this year needs to be brought into this summer and the seasons to come if we're going to keep producing results.”

“This is an amazing achievement for Matt and I,” added Watts. “We couldn't have done it without the support from everyone and their belief in us. We look forward to the challenge of next season.”

The baby Canucks on the West Coast have been producing some stellar results, just five years since being introduced to the sport through the 2010 Olympic Winter Games being held in their backyards.

Jenna Spencer, of Pemberton, was the first athlete from British Columbia to put her name in the history books when she finished second overall on the Youth World Cup in 2013.

“These results continue to demonstrate the development of the high-performance culture being established in Whistler,” said Walter Corey, high-performance director, Canadian Luge Association, who relocated to Whistler to grow the sport on Canada’s West Coast. “This track and the services in this area are critical for producing medal winners at all levels in the sliding sports. The accomplishments of these young kids is an inspiration to our local athletes, and a shared reward with our community of volunteers and sport partners. It is continued proof that if Canadian athletes have access to world-leading resources and facilities, programs can develop, and we will, deliver more medal winners for Canada.”

The Canadian Luge Association is a not-for-profit organization responsible for governing the sport of luge across the country. With the financial backing of from the Government of Canada, Canadian Olympic Committee and Own the Podium, the Canadian Luge Association safely recruits and develops the nation’s current and future high-performance luge athletes with the goal of regularly climbing onto the international podium. For more information on the Canadian Luge Association, please visit us at www.luge.ca on the Internet.