Lyndon Rush Leads Canadian Bobsleigh Team to Stunning World Cup Four-Man Victory
November 14, 2009
Canadian bobsleigh pilot Lyndon Rush made a plea at the end of last season: Help me get some decent equipment and I'll take on the world at the Vancouver Olympics.
The 29-year-old from Humboldt, Sask., lived up to his side of the bargain by pulling off a stunning victory in the World Cup four-man season opener Saturday night in Park City, Utah. He'd never cracked the top five in the event before.
"I'm pretty happy for the guys," said Rush in a phone interview. "It's pretty special for them. I'm really happy, too, but I'm really happy for them. ... I knew we had the package to win, but I didn't know we'd win."
The Canada 1 sled guided by veteran Pierre Lueders finished 10th.
Rush got new sleds worth $180,000 as a result of a partnership between Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton and B2Ten, a group of Canadian businessmen dedicated to helping athletes, as well some help from Own The Podium and other sponsors.
Rush and two of his crew mates, Lascelles Brown and Chris Le Bihan, also fronted $40,000 of their own money to help buy the four-man sled, not all of which has been recouped.
Rush vaulted from start No. 17 to sixth after the first run and, despite not feeling he'd driven his best, climbed to the top spot after the second run. He was teamed with Brown, Le Bihan and Dan Humphries. Veteran Canadian Pierre Lueders wound up 10th.
The conditions were a bit dodgy with snow and wind so luck was a factor, but you still had to take advantage of it - and Rush did.
"He's just a great athlete, very laidback, like a good old country boy," said Canadian coach Tuffy Latour. "Nothing really bothers him."
Rush, who went public with his equipment woes after finishing fourth last February in the pre-Olympic two-man race in Whistler, isn't surprised things have turned around so fast.
"We're not doing anything different other than we've got support," he said. "The last two years for sure, we've doing the same stinkin' thing - pushin' fast, driving good. We just didn't have the equipment.
"We have the equipment - and boom. It almost feels like cheating. We got the good stuff. It almost sours the sport a little bit, that money's such a big part of it. Without it, you can't win. It's too bad but I guess I'll take it now that I've got it."