Canadian bobsleigh pilot Justin Kripps along with skeleton athlete Jane Channell made Canada’s bid for the 2019 International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (FIBT) World Championships official at a news conference Monday at the start line of the Whistler Sliding Centre Track.
“Whistler really is a great place to host major international events,” Kripps, who pushed Pierre Lueders at the 2010 Winter Games, said in a statement released by Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton. “From the facilities and services available for athletes, to the track itself and support of the entire community, it is truly world-leading.”
Kripps, Channell and fellow Canadians Chris Spring, Kaillie Humphries and Dave Greszczyszyn originally presented the athlete-driven bid to the FIBT at a private reception during the world championships in Winterberg, Germany earlier this month.
Channell made Canada’s World Cup team this season and finished fourth at the recent skeleton worlds.
“The 2010 [Olympics] inspired me to pursue skeleton and World Cups,” she said, “and ultimately the world championships here in Whistler will do the same for the next generation of skeleton and bobsleigh athletes.”
The Whistler Sliding Centre is known by sliding fans as one of the best tracks in the world, according to Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton president Sarah Storey.
“It would be great to recreate the atmosphere and excitement of the Olympic Winter Games in 2010 at the world championships in 2019,” she said. “We’re thrilled to submit a bid to bring the premier sliding sport event on the international race calendar back to Canada.”
The Whistler Sliding Centre has also hosted the World Cup in 2010 and 2011, multiple luge events, 2013 luge world championships and international development-level races.
The FIBT will announce the winning bid June 2 during its annual Congress in Belgium.