February 24, 2006
Ready to rock
Lueders confident of Canadian sled, crew
TERRY JONES -- Edmonton Sun

TURIN -- Without Canada left in hockey, the four-man bobsled, with the final two runs tomorrow, will be Canada's last chance for a medal at Turin 2006.

And Pierre Lueders, who won silver in two-man, is ready enough to go that he didn't bother to take a sixth and final training run yesterday.

"If you don't know the track by now, you're not going to know it for the race," he said.

"We also had a lot of training for the two-man," he added of the event with Lascelles Brown as his brakeman.

Kevin Kotyk of Rama, Sask., and Morgan Alexander of Regina join him in the four-man sled.

At previous Olympics, there has been no real reason for a large media contingent to show up to watch Lueders in the four-man.

He was 11th in Lillehammer, ninth at Nagano and 10th at Salt Lake.

For most of his career, his success has been almost exclusively in the two-man where he won Olympic gold in Nagano 1998 with Dave MacEachern and a silver here with Brown.

Lueders has won 68 World Cup titles, almost all of them in two man. But this year he won his first four-man World Cup in Europe. And he was second in the pre-Olympic event on this track last year. Lueders finished second in the four-man World Cup standings this year and third at last year's world championships.

"We've had more success in two-man. We've tried really hard in four-man but I've just done better in two-man.

"It hasn't been for a lack of trying. Either we've had the sled but not the people or we've had the people but not the sled. Now we have it all. We have a good sled and a great crew.

"For two of the guys, this is their first Olympics but they're not uptight. They're relaxed and I think this is a great sign. I feel good for them," he said of Kotyk and Alexander.

Winning silver in the two-man hasn't hurt, either. "Doing well in the two-man really helped. I was worried about the two-man, but now that it's behind us, I think it has helped the other guys relax."

As for Lueders himself, winning the silver has kept him busy. "I have to say I'm having fun. In Salt Lake it was the opposite. I didn't enjoy myself at all. But the thing is, you have to switch back to working hard and you want to make sure you're ready to go. The nights have been short because of all the interviews I've been giving. So you have to fight fatigue."