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Tickets available for bobsleigh/skeleton World Cup



There's a bit of an Olympic vibe in the village these days with the return of international bobsleigh teams and skeleton racers for international training week and the Veissmann FIBT World Cup Bobsleigh and Skeleton competitions from Nov. 25 to 27.

Both sports were good to Canada over the course of the 2010 Games, with four medals - including two gold - and a lot of near misses.

In women's bobsleigh, the team of Kaillie Humphries and Heather Moyse took the gold medal, while teammates Helen Upperton and Shelley-Ann Brown won bronze. In four-man bobsleigh, the team of Lyndon Rush, Chris Le Bihan, David Bissett and Lascelles Brown placed third, while the Canada 2 sled piloted by Pierre Lueders and crewed by Justin Kripps, Neville Wright and Jesse Lumsden finished fifth.

Pierre Lueders and Jesse Lumsden also came close to a medal in two-man bobsleigh in fifth place, less than four-tenths of a second back of the podium.

In skeleton, Jon Montgomery gave Canada one of its best moments of the Games with his gold medal performance and memorable walk through the village carrying a pitcher of beer - courtesy of one of the staffers at Dups Burritos, where he spent a lot of time while he was training in Whistler.

In women's skeleton, Melissa Hollingsworth had one bad run in four, which dropped her from second place to fifth. Her teary-eyed apology to Canada was almost as watched as Montgomery's victory stroll.

The Whistler World Cup events kick off a four-stop North American series of races, with additional races in Calgary, Salt Lake City and Lake Placid, before the World Cup heads to Europe for the remainder of the season. It's also the first World Cup event of any kind held in Whistler since the Games.

For athletes, it's also the start of another four-year Olympiad, building up to the 2014 Games in Sochi, Russia. With four medals, the Canadian team will be getting top tier funding and support from the Canadian government, as well as the Own The Podium program - and is a strong draw for sponsors as well. The team is currently backed by Visa, Dow and Adidas, to name just a few.

The Whistler Sliding Centre is open for International Training Week from Nov. 15 to 21. The World Cup gets underway on Thursday, Nov. 25 with Women's Skeleton from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., followed by Women's Bobsleigh from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Men's Skeleton is on Friday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., followed by Men's Two-Man Bobsleigh from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Men's Four-Man Bobsleigh is from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Tickets are $10 for each day, and went on saleĀ  at the Whistler Visitor Information Centre on Nov. 17. Children under 6 are free, but you still need to obtain a ticket.

There is no parking at the site, and all spectators are asked to take the Excalibur Gondola to Base II to view the competition.