Humphries wins again as sliders combine for three medals.With a rookie brakewoman behind her and hometown advantages to overcome in Europe, Olympic bobsleigh champion Kaillie Humphries somehow kept her streak alive for one more event, bringing her winning streak to nine — including the last three World Cup races of last season and the World Championships last year. She won all three North American races at the start of this season, and now has wins in the first two European races as well.
Her win at La Plagne, France on Friday came after wins in both runs, including some of the fastest starts of the day — something that she and Chelsea Valois have been winning without.
"I wouldn't have guessed this would happen at the beginning of the year, but I'm not shocked either," said Humphries. "I think everyone believes they are capable of something like this, and always hope for it, so I'm very happy we have been able to do it."
To add to the frustration that European teams must be feeling at home, the USA 1 and 2 teams were third and second respectively to make it a North America sweep.
The Canada 2 sled of Jenny Ciochetti and Emily Baadsvik was 12th on the day.
Making the weekend even more special was the Canada 1 team's gold medal, with Lyndon Rush and Jesse Lumsden joining forces to place first overall by almost three-tenths of a second. The Swiss 1 team was second, followed by the USA 1 team. The Canada 2 sled, Chris Spring and Adam Rosenke, was 15th and Canada 3 with Justin Kripps and Samuel Giguere was 16th.
"We've been close all year, but it is so fun when you finally close the deal," said Rush, who earned a silver medal at the World Cup in Whistler in November. "It is so hard to start on this track because it is really flat so it exposes the better athletes. Jesse is an unbelievable athlete and he did an incredible job carrying the load today."
In the women's skeleton, Sarah Reid earned her second silver medal of the season, tying Marion Thees of Germany for the second step of the podium. Katie Uhlaender of the U.S. placed first.
Melissa Hollingsworth was seventh and Cassie Hawrysh 13th for Canada.
In the men's skeleton, Canada placed three in the top 12. Eric Neilson of Kelowna placed eighth, followed by Jon Montgomery in ninth and John Fairbairn in 12th. Martin Dukurs of Latvia won for the fourth time this year, followed by Alexander Tretjyakov of Russia and Tomass Dukurs of Latvia, Martin's younger brother.
What: King of the Rail
Where: Base of Whistler Mountain
When: Dec. 29, 7 p.m.
The first King of the Rail rail jam of the season takes place under the lights on Whistler Mountain on Dec. 29. All are welcome to take part in this athlete-judged event, which runs from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Registration is from 6 to 6:45 p.m. at the Showcase retail store for $15. Minors must have a waiver signed by a parent or guardian and helmets are mandatory.
What: Park Rider Ski and Snowboard Event
Where: Blackcomb Mountain
When: Sunday, Dec. 30 at 10 a.m.
The second event in the Park Rider series is a 13 and Under slopestyle on Blackcomb. Registration is $29 in advance at Guest Relations, and is available until 9:45 a.m. on race day at the Rendezvous Lodge for $35.
What: Registration for Test of Metal
Where: Online at www.testofmetal.com
When: Dec. 31 and Jan. 1
This year the organizers of the Squamish Test of Metal and three other Squamish epics (Ore Crusher, GearJammer and Just Another Bike Race) are offering a multi-pass for all four events until the end of Dec. 31.
As well, open registration for the Test of Metal takes place at 6 p.m. on New Year's Day, Jan. 1. There are 800 spots available on a first-come, first-served basis, and the race is expected to sell out in between 20 to 30 minutes.
What: Registration for North Face Whistler Half Marathon
When: Jan. 1 at 9:30 a.m.
If you're planning on running the North Face Whistler Half Marathon this year, registration opens on New Year's Day at 9 a.m. sharp, starting at $78 with all taxes and fees included. The event has 1,100 spots up for grabs, and is expected to sell out.