Canada’s Darla Deschamps Wins First-Ever Bronze Medal at Skeleton World Cup in Italy
February 4, 2011
CESANA, Ita.—World Cup rookie, Darla Deschamps,took her turn on the dominant Canadian Skeleton Team to hop onto the podium.
Calgary’sDeschamps won the first medal of her career after finishing third in the finalWorld Cup race of the season on Friday in Cesana, Italy – the site of the 2006Olympic Winter Games – after clocking a two-run time of one minute, 57.7seconds.
“It was agreat day and I felt really good. I have been super pumped just to have theopportunity to get a chance to race on the World Cup,” said Deschamps, who hadtwo solid runs down the highly technical Italian track which through everythingthe top skeleton athletes in the world could handle. “I came into the World Cupwith the goal of just racing well so I was surprised a bit with the bronzetoday. I always want two good runs, and to do it on race day is prettyawesome.”
Deschampsjoined two German athletes on the podium. Anja Huber slid to the gold medalwith a time of 1:56.71, while Marion Thees locked up the silver medal at1:56.77.
Quicklyprogressing from a development-level athlete and forerunner at the 2010 OlympicWinter Games into a World Cup medallist, it has been a dream season for the29-year-old Canuck. Deschamps racked up four medals, including two gold medalsin France, along with bronze medals at German tracks in Altenberg and Winterberon the Intercontinental Cup prior to the holiday break. Since getting the callto join the world’s elite skeleton athletes in January, she has been a consistentpodium threat with two fourths and a fifth-place finish on the World Cup to goalong with her bronze-medal run in Italy.
“Our teamdynamics have been awesome which has been really helpful for everyone to performwell,” said Deschamps. “The whole season has just been really good and I’vereally felt good.”
Deschampscredits her experienced medal-winning teammates, including fiancée and Olympicgold medallist Jon Montgomery, for helping to propel her onto the podium soearly in her career.
“It hasdefinitely been an inspiration to experience last year at the Olympics, but tohave Jon on one side of me and then look to my right and Mellisa(Hollingsworth) is there is pretty amazing. Our team has such great depth andit really has inspired me to put the hard work in,” said Deschamps.
“Our teamis so strong. On any given day the top-six Canadian women can be on the WorldCup so you cannot relax. The pressure is always there to perform, and be ourbest.”
All threeCanadian women slid into the top-10 for the second straight week. Amy Gough, ofAbbotsford, B.C., was sixth at 1:57.80, while Mellisa Hollingsworth, ofEckville, Alta., dropped back to ninth spot with a time of 1:58.42.
Toronto’sMike Douglas also fought his way into the top-10 to lead the Canadian men witha seventh-place finish. Douglas clocked a combined time of 1:54.95. JonMontgomery, of Russell, Man., finished 11th at 1:55.13, while Calgary’s JonFairbairn was 12th (1:55.23).
It was afamily affair on the men’s podium with Latvia’s Dukurs brothers owning thetop-two spots. Overall World Cup winner, Martins Dukurs, won the gold medal witha time of 1:53.06, while Tomass Dukurs was second at 1:54.27. Germany’s SandroStielicke held on for the bronze after clocking-in at 1:54.32.
Theworld’s best skeleton athletes will now head to Konigssee, Germany forinternational training week, followed by the World Championships, February14-27.
BobsleighCANADA Skeleton is a non-profit organization and the national governing bodyfor the sports of bobsleigh and skeleton in Canada. With the support of itsvalued corporate partners - VISA, Dow Chemical, Adidas, Schenker Canada - alongwith the Government of Canada, Canadian Olympic Committee and Own the Podium,Bobsleigh CANADA Skeleton develops Olympic and world champions. Please visit usat www.bobsleighcanadaskeleton.ca
Complete Results: www.fibt.com
Top-Five Women’s Skeleton Results:
1.Anja Huber, GER, 1:56.71; 2. Marion Thees, GER, 1:56.77; 3. Darla Deschamps,Calgary, CAN, 1:57.07; 4. Donna Creighton, GBR, 1:57.59; 5. Katharina Heinz,GER, 1:57.79
6.Amy Gough, Abbotsford, B.C., 1:57.80; 9. Mellisa Hollingsworth, Eckville,Alta., 1:58.42
Top-Five Men’s Results:
1.MartinsDukurs, LAT, 1:53.06; 2. Tomass Dukurs, LAT, 1:54.27; 3. Sandro Stielicke, GER,1:54.32; 4. Frank Rommel, GER, 1:54.32; 5. Ben Sandford, NZL, 1:54.83.
7.Mike Douglas, Toronto, 1:54.95; 11. Jon Montgomery, Russell, Man., 1:55.13; 12.Jon Fairbairn, Calgary, 1:55.23 *****