February 18, 2006
Vic Emery: 1964 - Innsbruck, Austria
By GEORGE GROSS -- Sun Media
Prior to the 1964 Olympic Games in Innsbruck, Austria, the reputation of Canadian bobsledders was similar to that of the Jamaican team in the 1988 Olympic Games in Calgary.
However, one man and his crew changed all that when the Canadian bobsled team of Vic Emery won the gold medal in Innsbruck. And what a story it was.
Canada's four-man team had a phenomenal first run, breaking the Olympic record and establishing a big lead on the rest of the field going into the second run. However, the Canadians went so fast into the last turn of that first run that they hit the wall and damaged the sled's axle.
The favorite in the event, Italy's Eugenio Monti, didn't want to win by seeing the Canadians disqualified. So Monti and his mechanics went to work to fix the problem. When Emery appeared on the scene, he saw his sled taken apart and thought the worst. But the Italians worked like demons and fixed Emery's sled.
It's history by now, that Emery and his gallant crew beat Monto and the rest of the field and won the gold medal, something nobody, including Emery, expected.
But Monti earned rewards for his unselfish deed in Innsbruck because at the next Olympics in Grenoble, France, he collected gold medals in both the two-man and four-man bobsled events.
Who said that good guys finish last?