February 19, 2006
Lueders, Brown grab silver
PAT GRIER -- Sun Media

TURIN, Italy - The snow came down white, but the medal is silver for Canadian bobsledders Pierre Lueders and Lascelles Brown.

It is the second silver medal won by Canada today. Earlier, Cindy Klassen was second in the women's 1,000-metre long track speed skate.

For Edmonton's Lueders and Calgary's Brown, the second-place showing in the two-man event comes amidst suspicions that the gold medal-winning German team of Andre Lange and Kevin Kuske were using an illegal coating on their runners.

Lueders all but accused the pair of it after the first two runs yesterday when the German 1 sled overcome a poor start to place fourth in the first run, and a German newspaper printed allegations of the cheating in yesterday's editions.

Yesterday's race came as heavy wet snow fell on the course in Cesana Pariol in the Italian Alps, about 90 kilometres northwest of Turin.

Lueders and Brown, in the Canada 1 finished with an aggregate time of three minutes, 43.59 seconds, 21/100ths of a second behind Lange Kuske. Switzerland's Martin Annen and Beat Hefti (3:43.73) took the bronze.

But while the silver might dampen some of the 35-year-old Lueders' anger, it was joy for his brakeman Brown.

The 31-year-old Calgary resident was born in Jamaica and he and Lueders fought a long battle for him to become a Canadian citizen, a prize Brown won only last month.

"It's unbelievable," said Lueders, a four-time Olympian. "For all the Canadians who have worked hard to get Lascelles here, the list goes from A to Z.

"About a month ago we weren't sure what was going to happen. Before Christmas it looked pretty bleak, but it shows you what happens when everybody gets together."

Brown was more than happy to quickly repay his new country its kindness.

"I want to thank everyone," Brown said. "I appreciate everything and I really appreciate Canada for making me a part of Canada."

Lueders and Brown entered the final two heats just 0.6 seconds back, but couldn't match the Germans' speed, finishing today's first run 1/10th of a second back and 5/100ths behind in the final heat.

It's the second Olympic medal for Lueders, who won gold in the two-main in 1998 in Nagano with Dave McEachern.

Lueders is also entered in the four-man event which begins on Friday.

The Canada 2 sled of Serge Despres of Moncton, N.B., and Edmonton's David Bissett finished 11th with a time of 3:45.67.