Kripps preparing for bobsleigh at Olympics

Summerland athlete currently ranked first in world

SUMMERLAND REVIEW FILE PHOTO BOBSLEIGH ACTION Summerland bobsleigh athlete Justin Kripps is preparing for his third Winter Olympics. Kripps, now ranked first in the world, has also competed in Vancouver in 2010 and in Sochi, Russia in 2014.

After finishing dead last at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, Summerland bobsleigh pilot Justin Kripps sits ranked as the number team in the world, something he hopes is a sign that bodes well for PyeongChang.

“I’ve had a really good season,” said Kripps, 31. “We’ve got a lot of momentum heading into the games.”

The bobsleigh athlete is preparing to compete in his third Olympics, on the heels of a great season in 2017 where Kripps and brakeman Jesse Lumsden won the two-man silver at the World Championship. In his last competition ahead of the Games, Kripps locked up his first overall World Cup title with a bronze medal in the two-man race.

“Winning the overall is absolutely huge,” said the 31-year-old Kripps, who now has nine career podium finishes in two-man racing along with a silver medal at last year’s World Championship. “It’s been a dream of mine since I started driving. I’m really proud of both Alex (Kopacz) and Jesse (Lumsden) who both pushed very well to share the two-man workload. It’s incredible we didn’t finish worse than fourth the whole season.”

While expectations are high for himself, there will be some stiff competition at the 2018 Olympics. He expects tough competition from Germany and Latvia. The South Korean team will also be a wild card in the Games. Kripps said the South Koreans have spent much of this season training and have not participated in many of the World Cup events and competitions.

“They’ll know the track really well,” he said.

Kripps has been a bobsleigh athlete since August, 2006 and has a long list of career highlights in the World Cup, world championships and Winter Olympics.

He competed in the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver as a brakeman with Pierre Lueders’ four-man crews. At the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, he was the pilot of Canada-3. At that competition, the sled overturned on turn 12 in the second heat and finished in last place. This year, he is confident about the Games despite having new teammates with him in both the four-man and two-man competitions.

“I believe we can win,” he said. “That’s the goal we have going in.”

The two-man bobsleigh competition will be held Feb. 18 and 19, with official training heats Feb. 15 to 17. The four-man bobsleigh competition will be held Feb. 24 and 25, with official training heats Feb. 21 to 23.

Just Posted

Walk to end abuse for those who can’t

SOWINS’s Debbie Scarborough points to the lethal potential in intimate partner abuse

Penticton trio perform classical music recital

Penticton locals Mia Harris, Christine Robinson and Dennis Nordlund perform on May 26

TGIF: Penticton and South Okanagan events listings

Live theatre, concerts, events, art exhibits and more from around the South Okanagan

Flooding complicates summer fun, health authority warns

Avoid fast-flowing water such as creeks and rivers.

Evacuation orders lifted around Osoyoos Lake

An evacuation order lifted for 15 properties around lake

What’s happening

Find out what is happening around the valley this sunshine-filled May weekend

B.C. RCMP swoop in to save injured eagle

An eagle with a broken wing now in a recovery facility after RCMP rescue near Bella Coola

Athlete of the week: Declen Blondin

Declen Blondin is the Penticton Western News/Canadian Tire athlete of the week

Bug spray 101: Health Canada wants you to stay bite free

Health Canada is reminding Canadians to use bug spray and other insect repellents safely

Unions reject CP Rail contract offers

Both meeting Friday to determine next steps; 72 hours notice required before strike action.

B.C. jewellers warn public about fake gold scam

‘They are playing on people’s sympathy and their greed’

Hunt continues for two suspects in Ontario restaurant explosion

The explosion left 15 people injured, but all victims have now been released from hospital

B.C. teacher charged with sexual offences involving two teens

Henry Kang, 50, of Abbotsford charged with two counts each sex assault and sexual exploitation

Most Read