Sports

Proving doubters wrong

SUMMERLAND’S JUSTIN KRIPPS is looking to surprise people with his two- and four-man boblseigh teams during the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia.  - Charlie Booker photo
SUMMERLAND’S JUSTIN KRIPPS is looking to surprise people with his two- and four-man boblseigh teams during the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
— image credit: Charlie Booker photo

Summerland’s Justin Kripps is headed back to the Olympics and he’s more than happy about it.

“It’s an amazing feeling to be chosen to represent Canada at the Olympics,” said Kripps via email about his selection for the Sochi Olympics in Russia. “There is nothing better than competing on the biggest stage in the world with Canada across your back.”

Kripps, who was a push athlete for Pierre Lueders in the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, posted the news on his blog Jan. 20. He qualified in the two- and four-man events with world rankings of 11th and ninth, respectively.

After the announcement regarding his selection, Global News.ca wrote a profile about Kripps, including that his team isn’t expected to reach the podium as Canada’s third-ranked sled. Kripps posted a Twitter message about it and added he intends to prove them wrong. When asked about it, Kripps said he doesn’t blame the media for writing what they did.

“Based on stats they are right,” he wrote. “I don’t mind flying under the radar, that’s how we won the last World Cup of the season. I bet they didn’t see that coming.”

That victory came on Jan. 25 as Kripps and Bryan Barnett won their first World Cup race in Konigssee, Germany.

“It is awesome. I can’t believe it,” said Kripps, in a statement released by Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton. “Things have been going pretty well so I had a goal of getting in the top-10 ... but I am a bit in shock for sure. All of the Canadians and athletes from the other countries were at the bottom jumping around and screaming for me. It was amazing.”

Kripps was still feeling the emotions from the death of his grandmother Agnes, who died on his birthday, Jan.6. Kripps said he knew his Baba was with him and that was for her.

The next day, Kripps and his four-man crew finished 11th.

Many things and people helped Kripps reach this point, including his supportive parents, coaches in all sports, as well as Lueders, who he said taught him everything he knows about bobsleigh. He also credited the World Cup pilots for taking him under their wing in his rookie season as a pilot.

“This season has been incredible,” said Kripps. “My teammates Tim Randall, James McNaughton and Barnett really came together. We want to succeed for each other. I wanted so badly to qualify for the Olympics with these guys and we’ve done that.”

Going into the Olympics, Kripps said his time with Lueders as a team member and student driver is his most valuable asset.

“It’s the ace up my sleeve that makes it possible for me to achieve the unexpected and improbable and I plan to take advantage of that in Sochi,” he said.

 

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