Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Montgomery's Missed Season Designed to Prepare Slider for 2014 Winter Games: Skeleton Champ Montgomery Says Hiatus Helped

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Montgomery's Missed Season Designed to Prepare Slider for 2014 Winter Games: Skeleton Champ Montgomery Says Hiatus Helped

Article excerpt

CALGARY - Jon Montgomery didn't disappear.

One of the famous Canadian athletes to come out of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games did what he felt he needed to do to win another gold medal, which was not to race at all this season.

Instead, the man as well known for auctioning off a pitcher of beer in Whistler, B.C., following his Olympic victory spent this winter tinkering and testing sleds while his rivals raced.

"I'm doing equipment development," Montgomery said. "I'm trying to make sure that I'm in the best possible position for success leading up to and including the 2014 Games.

"This year is not a throw-away season, but it doesn't mean anything in terms of our road to 2014. This was the season to sacrifice competition and focus on those aspects."

Montgomery's absence was noticeable at the recent two Canadian stops on the World Cup circuit -- Whistler last week and the Calgary stop that concludes with men's four-man bobsled Saturday.

A Canadian man didn't finish in the top five in skeleton at either track. The season ends with the world championship next week in Lake Placid, N.Y.

"For sure, you always want to be playing, you always want to be competing," Montgomery said. "That's an easy pill to swallow knowing I'm making the best use of my time right now in this aspect of equipment development and the programs I've been working on.

"This is definitely the best use of my time for sure."

Montgomery opened the season after his Olympic win with a World Cup victory on the same Whistler track.

But he finished no higher than sixth the rest of the season. Montgomery ended up ninth in the overall World Cup standings and 11th in the 2011 world championships.

It wasn't as if he suddenly couldn't drive. Montgomery decided then he had to aggressively research how to build a better sled. As he put it, "the 2014 season is not the time to be trying new things. …

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