Day 10: Jamaican-born sledder seeks gold

By BOB MACKIN, QMI Agency

VANCOUVER — The Jamaican bobsled team didn’t qualify for the 2010 Winter Olympics, but Jamaican-born Lascelles Brown did.

On Sunday, the 25-year-old Calgary resident could climb an Olympic podium for the second time in his career. The Turin 2006 silver medallist with Edmonton pilot Pierre Lueders is now brakeman for Saskatoon’s Lyndon Rush. Lueders, meanwhile, has paired with Edmonton Eskimos running back Jesse Lumsden.

German pilot Andre Lange is favoured to successfully defend the two-man gold he won at Turin. Rush, 29, and Brown are the sixth-ranked duo after winning the two-man world cup race at St. Moritz, Switzerland in January.

“Lyndon is more humble than me, I put more pressure on myself than you can ever imagine. I just tell myself, we’re going to destroy everybody,” Brown said.

“In this sport, the best brakemen go with the No. 1 driver and I am with the No. 1 sled.”

Cypress Mountain will be the site of Olympic history when ski cross makes its debut. The only sport added for the 2010 Games features Chris Del Bosco, who has dual Canadian and U.S. citizenship. Del Bosco is seeking redemption after drugs and booze ruined his bid to be a national team skier and mountain biker in his native Colorado.

“I made some poor choices outside of skiing and thought the dream was over,” said Del Bosco, 27. “I saw it as a second chance and I was willing to sacrifice a lot to make it.”

Old rivalries will be rekindled at GM Place in three matches to end the men’s hockey round-robin. Russia will try to bounce back from its shootout loss to Slovakia when it faces the Czech Republic. Canada eked out a shootout win over Switzerland and the United States will prove to be a tougher opponent. Sweden beat Finland for the Turin gold medal and the teams meet again in Vancouver.

The Cheryl Bernard-skipped Canadian women’s curling team meets the United States in the morning women’s curling session and then 2009 world champion China later in the day. Kevin Martin meets Switzerland in men’s action.

Winnipeg’s Cindy Klassen was the 1,500-metre speed skating gold medallist in Turin, but hasn’t regained her form since July 2008 surgery on both knees.

“Would I like to be back on the podium? Sure,” Klassen said. “But I’m just happy to be here.”

Expect Kristina Groves of Ottawa, who won silver at Turin, to challenge for a spot on the podium.

bob.mackin@sunmedia.ca

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