The Canadian bobsleigh team faces a coronavirus issue, announcing on Wednesday that 10 sliders and three staff members have been placed into health and safety protocols.
The announcement came two days before the start of a Winter Sports World Cup weekend in Sigulda, Latvia. Only two Canadian sleds – one driven by Justin Kripps, the other by Christine de Bruin – competed in training races this week leading up to this World Cup, according to results distributed by the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation. .
Canada has generally had three women’s and two men’s bobsleighs in World Cup events this season.
“The health and safety of all athletes, teams, staff and the communities where we live, train and compete is always our top priority,” read a statement from Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton, the national governing body of the sport. “(We have) strong health and safety protocols in place under the leadership of federal, state and local public health officials that we continue to follow when we return to the sport. “
The Canadian federation did not reveal the names of anyone in the protocols, citing confidentiality concerns.
The news comes at a particularly difficult time in the calendar. Not only are the Beijing Games around five weeks away, but countries are allocated starting spots for these Olympics – and largely choosing their teams – based on World Cup standings. Missing races this weekend could make it more difficult for some athletes to make it to the Canadian Olympic team.
The Canadian bobsleigh team had vacationed in Latvia to minimize travel. Cursors and affected personnel are in quarantine.
USA Bobsled and Skeleton is not believed to be facing virus issues going into the restart of the World Cup season this weekend. The only American bobsleigh rider who has been on the World Cup circuit this season and has not competed this weekend is Kaillie Humphries, who had long planned to jump Sigulda on an extended leave.
Elana Meyers Taylor, Hunter Church and Codie Bascue are all driving for the United States this weekend, as usual.