WHISTLER, B.C. - Happy birthday to Canada’s top bobsled pilot Lyndon Rush -- albeit one day late.
The Saskatoon native crashed in the ninth corner on the Whistler Sliding Centre track on consecutive training days, including Wednesday when he turned 30.
On Thursday night, Rush and brakeman Neville Wright of Edmonton tied for the two-man bobsled silver medal with Karl Angerer and Christian Friedrich of Germany in the first of eight 2010-2011 world cup meets. Both duos recorded one minute, 44.25-second combined times.
Gold medallists Manuel Machata and Andreas Bredau of Germany were just 0.19 faster over the two evening heats.
Rush joked that he felt old and achy after the training crashes, but credited Wright for not losing confidence. He said team technicians scrambled against the clock to fix their dented sled. This week’s near-record low temperatures forced organizers to move the men’s two-man event from Friday to Thursday.
“This isn't like a little kiddy cart run, this is Whistler,” Rush said. “When you crash here your sled gets mangled.”
Rush piloted Canada’s four-man team to Olympic bronze on the same track in February but was 15th in the two-man category. He was sixth overall in two-man world cup standings and eighth in four-man.
“It's a long season, you need to have consistency,” he said. “That's my goal this year, to be consistent. It's something I haven't been in my career.”
Earlier Thursday, Mellisa Hollingsworth of Eckville, Alta., won silver in women’s skeleton.
The three-day world cup continues Friday with men’s skeleton and women’s bobsled and climaxes on Saturday with the four-man bobsled. The meet is the only world cup event for an Olympic sport this fall and winter in the province that hosted the 2010 Winter Games.