FIBT/USOC International Bob-Skeleton School Huge Success
FIBT President Robert Storey stated that the collaboration between the FIBT and the USOC continues to bear fruit, allowing aspiring bobsleigh and skeleton athletes to acquire advanced driving skills.
“Without the full cooperation of the Olympic Regional Development Authority and the United States Bobsled and Skeleton Federation this late season school and competition could not be realized,” said Storey. “It is an athlete development model for the future as new sliding facilities open around the world.”
The program moves into its second phase this week with most athletes participating April 3-5 in the final America’s Cup races of the season. There were 25 two-man teams, 10 women’s squads and nine 4-man bobsleighs entered in the season-ending competition.
Athletes and coaches were based at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, where they received accommodations, meals and access to the USOC’s world class training facilities. Sliding took place at the Olympic Sports Complex at Mt. Van Hoevenberg, site of the 2009 FIBT World Championships next February.
“Participation increased significantly this year,” said Olympic Sports Complex Venue Manager Tony Carlino. “The program received excellent reviews last year from the athletes and coaches and we couldn’t accommodate all the applications received this year.”
The program fits with the USOC’s international initiatives. Sliders came from Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Finland, Great Britain, Iraq, Jamaica, Korea, Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the United States.
The team of bobsleigh coaches were headed by Malcolm “Gomer” Lloyd of Great Britain. Assistant bobsleigh coaches were Joseph Kilburn of Canada, and Don Hass and Pat Brown of the USA. Tim Nardiello headed the skeleton coaching group that included Rebecca Sorenson and Amanda Bird of the USA and Ben Sandford of New Zealand.