Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton Submits Bid to Host 2019 World Championships in Whistler

Monday, March 23, 2015

Whistler, BC: Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton, in conjunction with Whistler Sport Legacies, has submitted its intent to the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (FIBT) to bring the fastest sliding sport athletes on the planet back to the Host Mountain Resort for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Whistler for the 2019 World Championships.

Canadian athletes including bobsleigh pilot Justin Kripps (Summerland, B.C.), and North Vancouver’s fourth-place finisher at the recent skeleton World Championships, Jane Channell, made the bid official during a media conference at the start line of the Whistler Sliding Centre Track on Monday.

Kripps, Channell and their teammates Chris Spring, Kaillie Humphries, and Dave Greszczyszyn, originally presented the athlete-driven bid to the FIBT during a private reception while attending the 2015 World Champs in Winterberg, Germany earlier this month.

“Whistler really is a great place to host major international events. From the facilities and services available for athletes, to the track itself and support of the entire community, it is truly world-leading,” said Justin Kripps, who pushed Pierre Lueders at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, and learned to drive on the Whistler track.

Hosting major international events at home is important for developing unique Olympic sports, which often fly under the radar in Canada. Whistler and skeleton athlete Jane Channell is proof of that. Channell not only made Canada’s World Cup Team this year, but nearly slid onto the podium at the World Championships.

“The 2010 Games inspired me to pursue skeleton and World Cups and ultimately the World Championships here in Whistler will do the same for the next generation of skeleton and bobsleigh athletes” said Channell. “It’s a great opportunity to share the excitement of racing with Whistler’s truly international community. Be it the Olympics, World Cups, or development races, the residents and visitors have showed incredible support of this venue by lining the track each time we race here.”

“The Whistler Sliding Centre is known by sliding fans as one of the best tracks in the world,” said Sarah Storey, president, Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton. “It would be great to recreate the atmosphere and excitement of the Olympic Winter Games in 2010 at the World Championships in 2019.  We’re thrilled to submit a bid to bring the premiere sliding sport event on the international race calendar back to Canada.”

In addition to hosting the 2010 Olympics, Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton has brought the World Cup to the Whistler Sliding Centre in 2012 and 2011. The venue has also played host to multiple luge World Cups events, the 2013 Luge World Championships and international development level races. The venue is now a medal-generating factory for Canada’s sliding sport athletes at all levels.

“Whistler Sport Legacies is very excited to support Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton’s bid for the 2019 FIBT World Championship because this high calibre event is exactly what the Whistler Sliding Centre was built for,” said Roger Soane, President and CEO, Whistler Sport Legacies. “If we are successful with this bid, our Canadian athletes will once again be able to compete on one of the world’s most renown tracks right here at home, and Whistler will welcome international athletes, coaches, and their families.”

The Bidding and Hosting Plans department at the Canadian Olympic Committee has provided the critical investment required to support Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton’s bid plan.

The FIBT will announce the winning bid during its annual Congress on June 2 in Belgium.