Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canada's Lugers Look for Home-Track Magic Again in Calgary World Cup

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canada's Lugers Look for Home-Track Magic Again in Calgary World Cup

Article excerpt

Canada's lugers look for home-track magic

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CALGARY - Canada's luge team is in flux heading into their home stop on the World Cup.

Veteran Sam Edney is taking the season off to heal nagging injuries accumulated over 16 years of sliding and also to pursue a commerce degree.

Canada's most decorated slider Alex Gough will compete in women's singles Friday in Calgary, but is racing less these days in order to take civil engineering classes.

Arianne Jones, who won bronze in last year's World Cup in Calgary, sat out the first three World Cups this season to heal a serious back injury. Her first race of the season will be Friday at Canada Olympic Park.

The Canadians were stellar on their home track in 2014. Edney won gold, Gough and Jones took silver and bronze respectively, and the doubles team of Justin Snith and Tristan Walker collected a bronze.

That performance will be difficult to match in 2015, particularly because of the U.S. team's strong start to the season.

Gough has earned over 20 World Cup and world championship medals since 2010. The first North American to consistently challenge the traditional dominance of German women was fourth at the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.

The 27-year-old Calgarian came home from Sochi wanting to start planning for life after sport. Now in her second year of balancing school and sliding, her race preparation this week includes writing university exams.

"They're not conflicting with races, which they could," Gough said Tuesday at COP's Ice House. "It's a little stressful until Wednesday at 6:30 and then I'm done and I get to relax and slide.

"Hopes and goals are to have a really great race, great runs and see where that lands me."

Gough took bronze in Germany to open this season and then skipped a World Cup in Lake Placid, N.Y., for school. She was second after her first run in Park City, Utah, last Friday, but dropped to sixth because of a mistake on her second pass down the track.

Gough will race five of eight World Cups and the world championship in 2015-16. Her parents are both civil engineers and her brother will also be one when he graduates.

Gough wants to finish her degree in 2016 and then prepare for the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. …

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