Tuesday, February 3, 1998
Lueders wants gold times four
But the Edmonton pilot, who popped a TV cameraman right on his butt earlier this season for refusing to back away from the track, admitted yesterday that he won't be satisfied with just a good showing in the two-man.
"I don't want to be known only as a guy who drives the two-man," said the 6-foot-1, 220-pound track monster. "I would like to think I can do just as well in the four-man."
Lueders, 27, recently captured his second straight overall two-man title on the World Cup circuit. And with brakeman Dave MacEachern back healthy and running the 60 metres in an impressive 6.62 seconds, Lueders is definitely the guy to beat in the two-man at the Games.
But Lueders also is sitting in fourth-place overall on the World Cup circuit in the four-man event and believes he can be a medal threat in both disciplines.
That would certainly be something. Canada hasn't won an Olympic bobsled medal since Montreal's Vic Emery and his crew stunned the field by winning the four-man gold at the 1964 Innsbruck, Austria Games.
Lueders believes the key to his success in the four-man is the time between the events. At most World Cup stops, the two events are run simultaneously. Here, the two-man final will be run on Feb. 15 and the four-man heats don't begin until five days later.
"That's something I've been having difficulty with - adjusting to the two events," said Lueders while relaxing on an Air Canada flight somewhere over the north Pacific.
"In the four-man, I need to be a little more conscious of what I'm doing. You're driving more in the four instead of just letting it happen (like in the two).
"But I think (the five days between) will be good for me. I'll be able to make the adjustment so the four-man will be second nature on race day."
While Lueders is the early favorite in the two-man, Harald Czudaj of Germany and crew are the ones to beat in the four.
One of the other familiar faces competing in the four-man event will be the team from Monaco piloted by Albert Alexandre Louis Pierre Grimaldi - also known as Prince Albert of Monaco.
And while Prince Albert isn't expected to challenge for a medal, his presence at the track is always welcome.
"He's great," said MacEachern, a native of P.E.I. "He's one of the boys and he's a great ambassador for our sport."
One of the boys? The heir to the throne of Monaco? A man of considerable wealth and power? Without a doubt, said MacEachern, who says he once had the Prince over to his house in Calgary for a Halloween party.
"There were 40 to 50 other people there but he fit in perfectly," MacEachern said. "Some of the guys from our bobsled team were dressed in drag. We got some pretty good pictures."
And what did Albert come dressed as?
"A prince," MacEachern said.