Friday, November 29, 2013

WinSport World Push Challenge

Event Date: November 2013

Jeff got VIP tickets through his work for the first ever WinSport World Push Challenge to be held in the Ice House at Canada Olympic Park (COP) and he invited me to go with him.  I know this deviates from the overall theme of this blog about going outside and being active, but who doesn't love a little Olympic spirit?  Plus, the athletes were definitely active throughout the competition, so maybe this post isn't that out of place after all!

The World Push Challenge put the best bobsleigh brakemen and women against each other as they battled for the fastest push times and ultimately the title of fastest man and fastest woman on ice.  The event was held as a warm-up to the following weekend's season-opening World Cup event, which would also be taking place in Calgary.  Canada was well represented with two women (Ashley Shumate and Heather Moyse) competing in the nine person field, while there were three men (Neville Wright, Lascelles Brown, and Jesse Lumsden) out of ten competitors.  

The women took to the ice first.  Not only was the title of fastest woman on ice at stake, but also $2,000.00 cash, an Omega watch valued at $4,500.00, an iconic Smithbilt white cowboy hat, a championship belt, and world bragging rights leading into the season.

The nine woman competitors represented five different countries
Heather Moyse dominated the woman's event, clocking a time of 5.550s and reaching a speed of 41.62km/h.  National Development Team member, Ashley Shumate, placed 5th with a time of 5.815s and a top speed of 40.44km/h.  Judith Vis and Sanne Dekker, both from the Netherlands, placed 2nd and 3rd respectively.  

Heather Moyse winning the woman's division

Up next were the men and, just like with the woman, a lot was on the line for the ten athletes who were competing.  
The ten competitors in the men's division represented four different countries
It was Canada's own Jesse Lumsden, with a stunning time of 5.0004s and a top speed of 44.74km/h, that took home the gold from the men's division.  Lascelles Brown, also known as King, finished in 2nd with a time of 5.064s and a speed of 44.32km/h.  Rounding out the top three was Christopher Fogt, from the United States of America, with a time of 5.092s and reaching 44.32km/h.  Neville Wright, Canada's third participant, finished in 4th place with a time of 5.111s and had a speed of 44.28km/h.  

Lascelles Brown's time was good enough for 2nd place

Jesse Lumsden's first place push down the track

The winners of the first ever World Push Challenge
Heather Moyse is currently pushing for Team Humphries on the Canada 1 national bobsled team along with pilot Kaillie Humphries.  The duo are the defending gold medalists from the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver.  Lascelles Brown and Neville Wright are both part of Canada 1's Team Rush, along with teammates Lyndon Rush and David Bissett.  Rush, Brown, and Bissett were members of the bronze-medal winning team in Vancouver in 2010.  Jesse Lumsden is currently part of Canada 2's Team Spring with teammates Chris Spring, Cody Sorensen, and Ben Coakwell.  All have been confirmed as part of Canada's Olympic Team for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games to be held in Sochi, Russia.  
It was a great night of competition and I'm really glad that the Canadians came out on top!  It looks as though we have some top-tier talent when it comes to bobsleigh and it'll definitely be fun watching these guys and girls compete on the international stage when the Olympics start at the beginning of February.  I know i'll be cheering them on from home!  

*Photos are from WinSport's Canada Olympic Park Facebook Page (Dave Holland Photography)
**Videos were taken by me at the event

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