Olympic success rides with Lueders

DEREK VAN DIEST -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 11:13 AM ET

Expectations are high for the Canadian bobsleigh team.

Coming off a successful 2004-05 campaign, the focus is on improvement heading towards the 2006 Turin Olympics.

"Our expectations this year are based on what we've done last year with our season," said head coach Gerd Grimme. "We have to be disappointed if we don't win medals at the Olympics. We have shown that we have the potential, especially with Pierre Lueders in the two-man and four-man. To be realistic, the other guys are not that far right now."

Lueders is the biggest hope for an Olympic medal in Turin. The 1998 gold-medal winner in the two-man event is as strong as ever.

Last season, Lueders guided the two-man team to three World Cup victories and a second-place overall finish. The four-man team piloted by Lueders finished third overall in the World Cup standings.

"Pierre with his two-man and four-man teams has the potential for at least a medal, and actually, he should go for two medals," Grimme said.

"It's tough to say what colour the medals should be. Right now that's too far ahead. But the dynamic of the development that we have done over the last couple of years has shown that we have progress a lot in four-man and we've kept a high-level since the last Olympics in the two-man. It is possible, we just have to go for it."

Success in the two-man at the Olympics will depend a lot on whether Lascelles Brown is able to get his Canadian citizenship in time for Turin. The former Jamaican bobsleigh team member has moved to Canada and joined the national team.

"I'm not too worried about that," Brown said.

"I think from a personal point of view, we're training as hard as we can and we're going to go out and give it 110% like we did last year, and hopefully we'll do better than last year."


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