CALGARY—After investing more than two decades of his life
to bobsleigh in Canada, one of the nation’s most decorated Olympians, Pierre
Lueders, will leave his position as national team development coach this month,
Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton announced on Wednesday.
“I have dedicated 22 years of my life almost exclusively
to the sport of bobsleigh in Canada - both as an athlete and a coach - but I
feel now it is time to take a break, look at other career options, and most
importantly spend some much-needed time with my family,” said the five-time
Olympian. “My goals when I joined the sport in 1989 was to leave the Canadian
Bobsleigh Team in a better place than when I started. Working with
world-leading coaches, countless talented teammates and mentoring aspiring Olympians,
I believe I have accomplished that.”
A winner of more than 100 international medals, including
an Olympic gold (1998) silver (2006), and eight World Championship podium
finishes while driving the Canada 1 two- and four-man bobsleigh, Lueders had an
immediate impact on the nation’s next generation of Olympic bobsleigh pilots
since launching the next chapter of his storied career two years ago as a pilot
coach with the development squad.
Lueders’ mark was most recognized last year in developing
his former brakeman, Justin Kripps, along with Jenny Ciochetti and others, into
World Cup-calibre pilots. In just his second year driving since pushing Lueders
at the 2010 Olympics, Kripps piloted the Canada 2 sled to back-to-back top-10
performances on his home track in Calgary last year, while Ciochetti also broke
onto the elite circuit.
“Bobsleigh in Canada is synonymous with Pierre Lueders,”
said Reid Morrison, president, Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton. “He is the most
successful athlete in the history of our sport, and there is no doubt the
extensive experience and knowledge he brought to the program as a coach over
the last two years has played a critical role in fast-tracking the development
of our young pilots, while he also ensured our elite athletes were fully
prepared to win against the world’s best.
“This is an unfortunate day for our sport in Canada, but
Pierre has raised the bar throughout his career, and allowed Canadian bobsleigh
athletes to believe they too can be Olympic champions. We are grateful for his
commitment to excellence and wish Pierre and his family the very best.”
Lueders will remain in Calgary with his wife and two
daughters. He plans to enjoy the summer with his family while taking time to
explore a number of career options in-and-outside of sport.
For more information on Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton, please
visit us at www.bobsleigh.ca on the