stats
globeinteractive.com: Making the Business of Life Easier

   Finance globeinvestor   Careers globecareers.workopolis Subscribe to The Globe
The Globe and Mail /globeandmail.com
Home | Business | National | Int'l | Sports | Columnists | The Arts | Tech | Travel | TV | Wheels
space


Search

space
  This site         Tips

  
space
  The Web Google
space
   space



space

  Where to Find It


Breaking News
  Home Page

  Report on Business

  Sports

  Technology

space
Subscribe to The Globe

Shop at our Globe Store


Print Edition
  Front Page

  Report on Business

  National

  International

  Sports

  Arts & Entertainment

  Editorials

  Columnists

   Headline Index

 Other Sections
  Appointments

  Births & Deaths

  Books

  Classifieds

  Comment

  Education

  Environment

  Facts & Arguments

  Focus

  Health

  Obituaries

  Real Estate

  Review

  Science

  Style

  Technology

  Travel

  Wheels

 Leisure
  Cartoon

  Crosswords

  Food & Dining

  Golf

  Horoscopes

  Movies

  Online Personals

  TV Listings/News

 Specials & Series
  All Reports...

space

Services
   Where to Find It
 A quick guide to what's available on the site

 Newspaper
  Advertise

  Corrections

  Customer Service

  Help & Contact Us

  Reprints

  Subscriptions

 Web Site
  Advertise

  E-Mail Newsletters

  Free Headlines

  Globe Store New

  Help & Contact Us

  Make Us Home

  Mobile New

  Press Room

  Privacy Policy

  Terms & Conditions


GiveLife.ca

    

PRINT EDITION
Calm, cool and collected, bobsled pilot Kripps is all about the action
space
space
By JOSHUA CLIPPERTON
THE CANADIAN PRESS
  
  

Email this article Print this article
Saturday, February 17, 2018 – Page S5

PYEONGCHANG, SOUTH KOREA -- Canadian bobsled pilot Justin Kripps spent the early part of his childhood about as far away from an icy track as you can possibly get.

The son of UNICEF workers, Kripps was born in Hawaii and took full advantage of what the tropical island paradise had to offer.

"We were fairly isolated," he recalled. "Our typical days were just running around in the jungle.

"One of the things I really loved about that time is if we got hungry we would just pick something off the tree and eat it."

Heading into his third Olympics - and second as a bobsled pilot - Kripps is looking to devour the competition at the Pyeongchang Winter Games.

The soft-spoken 31-year-old, who split time between Hawaii and Summerland, B.C., with his family before relocating permanently to the town on the shores of Okanagan Lake in the province's interior for high school, is in peak form after a banner World Cup campaign.

Kripps won a gold, three silvers and a bronze in two-man bobsleigh to claim the season's overall title, never finishing lower than fourth in the circuit's eight races. And he was just outside the top-three in the fourman standings, grabbing second twice and fourth on three other occasions, to claim the combined two- and four-man crown.

"It's great timing for Justin," said Canadian bobsled and skeleton high-performance director Chris Le Bihan. "He's at the point in his career where he's had a lot of experience driving.

"It's just fine-tuning things, but that takes a while to be in that position. It's great to see that it's happening now."

Like a number of athletes in a late-entry sport such as bobsleigh, Kripps ran track at university before getting recruited to try out for the national team in 2006.

"It turns out I don't really hate winter so much," he joked.

A brakeman in Pierre Lueders's four-man sled that finished fifth at the 2010 Olympics in Whistler, B.C., Kripps decided to give piloting a try the following summer.

He won his first World Cup race in 2014 and wound up sixth in the two-man at the Sochi Games less than a month later in Canada's third sled. That surprising result prompted team officials to shuffle the setup for the four-man and give Kripps some of the program's better pushers.

But their hopes for a podium didn't last long after he crashed in the second heat and finished at the bottom of the standings.

The late switch, which left a number of teammates bewildered, including fellow pilot Chris Spring, was a lesson the detail-oriented Kripps will remember when he begins his quest for an Olympic medal Sunday in the South Korean mountains.

"Your ticket is not punched until you're in the sled going down the track," he said. "Things can change right down to the last minute."

Kripps won silver in two-man at the 2017 world championships with brakeman Jesse Lumsden, who was also in the 2010 fourman sled. But Lumsden, the former CFL player from Burlington, Ont., who is also at his third Olympics, split time pushing for Kripps with Alex Kopacz of London, Ont., over the course of the most recent World Cup schedule.

Kopacz is set to be the brakeman for Kripps in both the twoand four-man in Pyeongchang.

Lumsden will be the horsepower for Hamilton's Nick Poloniato in Canada's third sled in the twoman, but will join Kripps, Kopacz and Ottawa's Seyi Smith, a sprinter at the 2012 London Games, in the four.

"What I think works with Justin is that he's very calm, cool, collected - very even-keel," said Lumsden, a brakeman for Kripps in six of eight World Cup fourman races this season. "Stoic in many ways, which is great for a bobsled pilot."

"I don't do pump-up speeches," Kripps said. "I find my power is in knowing everything is in place for us to do well and just being extremely focused."

Canada has left nothing to chance in the leadup to the 2018 Games, even enrolling Kripps and Spring, the Australian-born Calgary resident who also had a great World Cup season, in golf lessons with the aim of sharpening focus and improving mental toughness.

And the program will be looking for results in Pyeongchang after all six men's sleds failed to reach the Olympic podium in Russia four years ago.

"They've honed their skills over these last eight to 10 years and it's paying off now where they're fine tuning things on the track in their driving," Le Bihan said of Kripps and Spring. "The program is well-developed this year in terms of our equipment, support staff, our coaching staff, mechanics.

"The pressure's higher, but the excitement's also higher and the stakes are higher. The people that really want it will go after it and those are the ones who will win."

Associated Graphic

Canada's Justin Kripps and Alexander Kopacz take a curve in two-man bobsleigh training in Pyeongchang on Friday.

ANDY WONG/AP


Huh? How did I get here?
Return to Main Rick_Salutin Page
Subscribe to
The Globe and Mail
 

Email this article Print this article

space  Advertisement
space

Need CPR for your RSP? Check your portfolio’s pulse and lower yours by improving the overall health of your investments. Click here.

Advertisement

7-Day Site Search
    

Breaking News



Today's Weather


Inside

Rick Salutin
Merrily marching
off to war
Roy MacGregor
Duct tape might hold
when panic strikes


Editorial
Where Manley is going with his first budget




space

Columnists



For a columnist's most recent stories, click on their name below.

 National


Roy MacGregor arrow
This Country
space
Jeffrey Simpson arrow
The Nation
space
Margaret Wente arrow
Counterpoint
space
Hugh Winsor  arrow
The Power Game
space
 Business


Rob Carrick arrow
Personal Finance
space
Drew Fagan arrow
The Big Picture
space
Mathew Ingram arrow
space
Brent Jang arrow
Business West
space
Brian Milner arrow
Taking Stock
space
Eric Reguly arrow
To The Point
space
Andrew Willis arrow
Streetwise
space
 Sports


Stephen Brunt arrow
The Game
space
Eric Duhatschek arrow
space
Allan Maki arrow
space
William Houston arrow
Truth & Rumours
space
Lorne Rubenstein arrow
Golf
space
 The Arts


John Doyle arrow
Television
space
John MacLachlan Gray arrow
Gray's Anatomy
space
David Macfarlane arrow
Cheap Seats
space
Johanna Schneller arrow
Moviegoer
space
 Comment


Murray Campbell arrow
Ontario Politics
space
Lysiane Gagnon arrow
Inside Quebec
space
Marcus Gee arrow
The World
space
William Johnson arrow
Pit Bill
space
Paul Knox arrow
Worldbeat
space
Heather Mallick arrow
As If
space
Leah McLaren arrow
Generation Why
space
Rex Murphy arrow
Japes of Wrath
space
Rick Salutin arrow
On The Other Hand
space
Paul Sullivan arrow
The West
space
William Thorsell arrow
space





Home | Business | National | Int'l | Sports | Columnists | The Arts | Tech | Travel | TV | Wheels
space

© 2003 Bell Globemedia Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Help & Contact Us | Back to the top of this page