North America Cup concludes at UOP
November 21, 2014
Six athletes raced in the first-ever Paraskeleton World Cup on Nov. 16, and the Park City North American Cup concluded with the second-ever mixed gender international four-man bobsled race to mark another historic day on the 2002 Olympic track. Team USA claimed two Paraskeleton World Cup medals and a collective 16 North American Cup medals to kick start the season.
"We want the sports to grow, and we’re proud to support the adaptive program and to see it develop," said Darrin Steele, who is the USA Bobsled & Skeleton CEO and also the International Bobsled and Skeleton Federation (FIBT) VP of Sport. "I hope we look back at this day in 20 years as the historic official start of a Paralympic sport. Today was also the second time that women have raced in an official FIBT four-man bobsled race, and it’s already become the norm. They get to the line the same, they prepare the same, and they are trying to make it down the hill as fast as everyone else. It’s exciting to witness these sports grow."
British competitor Matt Richardson is the first-ever Paraskeleton World Cup gold medalist. Richardson posted a combined time of 1 minute, 49.40 seconds for the historic win, finishing 0.68 seconds ahead of USA’s Eric Eierdam. Ryan Gautieri (Park City) clocked a total time of 1:51.88 for third place to claim a second medal for Team USA.
Codie Bascue claimed the 16th medal for Team USA in the final North American Cup race of the Park City event with a second-place finish in Sunday’s four-man bobsled competition. Bascue, Kris Enslen, David Cremin and Trevor Christianson posted starts of 5.01 and 4.98 for finishes of 48.17 and 48.54 seconds, respectively, to finish 0.05 seconds off the pace for the silver medal.
Elana Meyers Taylor made another momentous impression in the four-man race by following up her seventh-place finish Saturday with a sixth-place result Sunday. Meyers Taylor teamed with Dustin Greenwood, Adrian Adams and Carlo Valdes for push times of 5.05 and 5.07 and crossed the finish in 48.63 and 48.75 seconds. The crew clocked a total time of 1:37.38 for sixth.
"I’m proud of my guys and how hard they’ve worked," Meyers Taylor said. "Because I’ve been sliding for eight years, it’s hard to remember that I’ve only been doing four-man for two weeks now. It’s a marathon, not a sprint, so it’s a process. I’m proud of our result, but I still have so much to do and learn about this new discipline. Thank you to our staff, support team and all of my teammates for supporting me in this effort to help push women’s bobsled forward."
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British pilot Lamin Deen led his crew of Keith McLaughlin, Richard Stead and Andrew Matthews to the finish in 1:36.66 for the victory. Loic Costerg, Romain Heinrich, Vincent Ricard and Jeremie Boutherin from France were third with a two-run total of 1:36.99.
The North American Cup continues in Calgary for the second stop on tour with races Nov. 21-23.