I was hanging around the podium at the Whistler Sliding Centre when I suddenly saw a quick sleigh with an athlete in a red suit rush past the finishing line. With last run of Men’s Skeleton, Jon Montgomery took first at the FIBT Skeleton World Cup in Whistler.
Jon took first in the competition beating out Kristan Bromley and Alexander Tretiakov with a finishing time of 1:47.56. He beat Bromley by almost 3 tenths of a second, a smashing lead given the times behind him. Jon is starting to become known as “King of Whistler Sliding Centre” and he admitted in post-race questioning that if he keeps up the Whistler dominance the pressure is going to mount.
I also had a chance to chat with Kristan Bromley, the Brit who took second. Bromley told me that the rivalry in sliding sports has always been around, and it looks like a new competitive culture is going to develop around Whistler’s new track.
I’ve noticed that the Whistler Sliding Centre is already providing new opportunities for Vancouverites. Before the Olympics there were no sliding tracks nearby and anyone who had a desire to join the winter version of sliding sports had to go to Calgary. A friend of mine was also recruited from Simon Fraser University and has started training with the national team. By the time Sochi 2014 is here, it’s my prediction that local names are going to start placing high and Vancouver is going to start taking names in the next Olympics.