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Canadian pilot looks for missing one hundredth of a second

Canada 1 sled nets bronze in men’s four-man bobsleigh

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In the three hours between winning a bronze medal in four-man bobsleigh and getting that medal around his neck, Lyndon Rush couldn't help but find the time to review the tape of the race.

He had to know where he lost that one-hundredth of a second that bumped his team from its silver place position, where it had been through all the heats, into third place.

"I don't want to sound like a sore loser but I thought we were better than the guys that beat us," he said, his medal freshly hanging from his neck after Saturday's medals ceremony, the last to be handed out in Whistler during the Games.

"I thought we outperformed those Germans."

But such is the nature of the sport measured in one-hundredths of a second. In the final heat, veteran bobsledder André Lange found the speed to move his sled into position for the silver medal.

"It's so close," added Rush of his placing. "Bittersweet."

His teammates, David Bissett, Lascelles Brown and Chris Le Bihan, stood behind their pilot with their support - Olympic medallists all for the first time.

"They're trying to cheer me up because they think I'm crazy for being upset," said Rush, immediately after the race.

It was a shock, however, to drive the bobsleigh down the course, in a run that he thought was a good run, and not see the team in first place on the screen.

"I never stopped thinking we could win until we got down to the bottom and I saw number two," said Rush.

With the American team, led by pilot Steven Holcomb and crewed by Steve Mesler, Curtis Tomasevicz and Justin Olsen, still to go it bumped the Canadian 1 sled into third sport.

"Hats off to the guys," said Rush. "This is our backyard. We trained here. We have more runs and there's no reason they should beat us like that. They're good... and I don't think that we're bad."

Canada's five-time Olympian Pierre Leuders piloted his four-man sled to fifth place in the race. That's the same position his sled took in the two-man bobsleigh race.

"Fourth or fifth... I'm not really too worried about that," said the pilot who won gold in the two-man in the '98 Games, among numerous wins making him Canada's most decorated slider. "For an older guy like myself to compete at home in the Olympics, it's unbelievable. I know exactly what the U.S. athletes were feeling in Salt Lake in '02. It's unbelievable, that's all I can say... unbelievable."

Saturday's afternoon crowd didn't disappoint the Olympians with ready cheers, particularly for the Canadian teams.

Leuders also had praise for the track crew in Whistler who worked tirelessly through the Games.

He said: "The track crew here in Whistler has been obviously under a lot of pressure and they need to be congratulated for the work that they've put in because I know they've all worked really hard."

 

 

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