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Crash didn’t crush Kripps’s spirit
Crashing ended Olympic medal hopes for Summerland’s Justin Kripps Saturday.
After a strong start, Kripps’s team crashed while going at a speed of 129 kilometres an hour. The back of the sled lifted causing it to turn onto its side and didn’t stop sliding until it crossed the finish line at 59.91 seconds. They finished the second heat in 25th place.
“The run was going great, we had a pretty good line going into the 14th corner, it was almost perfect, but often it’s lines that are almost perfect but just perfectly wrong in the right way that result into rolling into a corner and that’s what happened, it was honestly really unlucky,” wrote Kripps in an email while returning from Sochi. “I was shocked when just as I was about to start executing my steers in 14, my face smashed into the ice. I didn’t see it coming. After that, I thought about trying to get my head low and I hoped everyone was OK. When it was done and the boys were OK, I was really rattled that our chances of medalling were over.
“The guys told me they loved me, not to beat myself up over it,” continued Kripps. “I told them what happened, looked at time sheets, told them we had a really good thing going as we were in second in the last split time before the crash.”
In the third heat, Kripps’s team finished in 55.72 seconds, good for 10th overall, but they didn’t qualify for the fourth and final heat.
Team Canada made a team change for Kripps after the success he had driving in the two-man event.
“I come away from these games feeling very positive,” said Kripps. “At the start of the season we were considered a long shot. Just to qualify for the games and to challenge for a medal in both races was an incredible triumph for me and my team. There’s lots to come from us.”