Jon Montgomery would like nothing more than for his career in skeleton racing to end with a chance to defend his Olympic gold.
But that dream just got a little harder this week with the decision by Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton to bump him from the top-tier World Cup team. Montgomery will start out competing on the Intercontinental Cup circuit as result of his performance to date and the strong results of other team members.
He is not the only former Olympic medallist to start the year on the Intercontinental Cup team — Mellisa Hollingsworth who won skeleton bronze in 2006 was left off the women's World Cup team.
Montgomery, 34, plans to retire from the sport at the end of the season. For the man who provided Whistler's most memorable moment of the 2010 Games, stepping back onto the podium is far less important than simply being there to compete in Sochi this February.
"It is about putting all your cards on the table and doing everything you can," Montgomery told Pique on Oct. 25. "It's very little about the result, and if you get too results-focused and oriented, I think you're not focusing on what's important.
"You can't control what other athletes do, you can't control what sort of luck swings your way or swings against you. All you can do is put yourself in the best possible position for success and that's really what's important."
Montgomery, a Manitoba native, finished fifth in the Canadian Skeleton Championships on Sunday, Oct. 27 at the Whistler Sliding Centre, one of two selection races used to help set the roster for the World Cup squad, the other held the previous week in Calgary.
The makeup of the team isn't set in stone though, as head coach Duff Gibson and his staff can tinker with the lineup after the first two World Cup events. But that the country's most famous slider could be left off the squad to start the year speaks to how his up-and-coming teammates are making big strides, and how the results have been hard for Montgomery to come by since 2010.
For more on Mongomery's path to Sochi in 2014 read the Pique tomorrow, Oct.31.