Last week Summerland’s Justin Kripps showed he will be a force to be reckoned with in the season’s opener of the 2011-2012 international bobsleigh competition, medalling in all four events of the back to back America’s Cup Races held in Park City, Utah.
He won two gold in the two-man races and gold and bronze in the four-man.
In his second season in the driver’s seat, Kripps not only took gold in the first race but he and teammate Jesse Lumsden broke the Olympic track start record, one of the longest standing bobsleigh records, set at the Salt Lake City Olympics in 2002.
In the first heat the Canadians came close to the record of 4.79 secs with a push of 4.8 seconds.
Word quickly spread and a crowd gathered at the top of the track hoping to see a new record set.
With the crowd cheering them on Kripps and Lumsden surged to a 4.77 second start and roared down the track to take the first gold medal edging out the hometown USA teams who took second and third.
Kripps and Lumsden repeated their strong performance again the next day with another gold medal.
Trying out a new sled and with two new team members, James McNaughton and Luke Demetre, Team Kripps took the bronze medal in the first four-man event of the season.
But on the final day of the event, they proved to be quick learners and after adjusting to the new conditions roared to gold again.
“We were hoping to make top three, but since we had new equipment and a team who had never competed together before it was a bit of an unknown,” he said. “It’s a pretty good start to the season.”
There were 22 men’s teams from 10 countries competed in the four-day event.
Kripps and two of his teammates headed straight to the airport after the final race, on to Austria to compete in the Europa Cup. Lumsden headed back to Calgary to crew with Lyndon Rush in the upcoming World Cup events.
Kripps and Lumsden will receive official acknowledgement of their record-breaking performance with a certificate from the International Bobsleigh Federation.