2000 Canadian Sport Awards
ALSO ON SLAM!
The drought is over. After 34 years, Canada finally stood on the top podium at an Olympic bobsleigh event. However, unlike the unexpected win by Victor Emery's four- man crew in 1964, the Canadian two-man team of Pierre Lueders of Edmonton and Dave MacEachern of Charlottetown were clearly among the top medal contenders just coming off a second straight World Cup crown.
It was a dramatic race in Nagano with the Canadians tying with Italy's Gunther Huber. Lueders said he'd joked with the Italians at the top of the hill that they might end up in a tie. The Canadians trailed by 3-100ths of a second going into the final run when they posted a time of 54.24 seconds. Italy I, racing right after the Canadians, was clocked in 54.27. That gave both sleds aggregate times of three minutes 37.24 seconds.
"This is something our program was dying for 34 years," said Lueders, 28. "It was a good shot in the arm for our program. There's been a lot of heartbreak for Canadian bobsledders over the years."
MacEachern's gold medal caused great celebrations in P.E.I which had its first -ever Olympic champion. "One of my goals as a three-time Olympian and now an Olympic gold medal winner is to promote sport for kids in Prince Edward Island," said MacEachern, 31. "Sport is the most unifying factor in Canada. It unifies our country like nothing else."