Team Canada won its first relay luge medal of the 2017-18 luge season in Innsbruck, Austria on Sunday. The Canadian team comprised of Alex Gough of Calgary, Alberta, Mitchel Malyk of Calgary, Alberta and men’s doubles lugers Tristan Walker of Calgary, Alberta and Justin Snith of Calgary, Alberta.
Gough, Malyk, Walker and Snith posted an overall time of two minutes, 11.025 seconds. Germany, which was comprised of Natalie Geisenberger, Felix Loch, and doubles lugers Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken, won the gold medal with a time of two minutes, 10.667 seconds. Russia, which was comprised of Ekaterina Baturina, Semen Pavlichenko, and doubles lugers Aleksandr Denisev and Vladislav Antonov won the bronze medal with a time of two minutes, 11.044 seconds.
The Canadians reached the podium by 0.55 seconds over the United States. The Americans finished in fourth place with a time of two minutes, 11.08 seconds.
This is a big year for the Canadian luge program. Four years ago prior to the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, expectations were high and Team Canada was unable to come away with any hardware. There is no doubt that Germany is the overwhelming favourite to win mixed relay luge at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, but Canada is right there in the mix of things and has the capability of knocking on the door for an Olympic medal. Never before has Canada won a medal in luge at the Olympic Winter Games.