Canadian luge Olympic medallists Tristan Walker, of Cochrane, and Justin Snith are shining the spotlight on four charities dear to their heart while on the international luge tour in Europe, including the Cochrane and Area Humane Society (CAHS).
Having lost their major personal sponsor as a result of a season financially marred by COVID-19, the most successful duo in the history of the Canadian luge program are profiling charities on their sled in each of their three world cup races and at the world championship.
“We recognize this has been an unpredictable and challenging year for individual Canadians and businesses alike," says Walker. "Rather than trying to replace our primary sponsor, Justin and I felt the right thing to do this year was to use our platform to bring additional awareness to charities in this country that are doing important work in our communities.
Already, STARS Air Ambulance and the Kvisle Fund for GBM (in support of the Alberta Cancer Foundation) have been featured. Up next is CAHS at the Jan. 23-24 World Cup race in Ignls, Austria.
The Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund will be profiled at the world championship being hosted in Konigsse, Germany from Jan. 29 to 31.
In just their second race of the season in Oberhof, Germany, the pair finished 10th in doubles racing at the Viessmann Luge World Cup, Jan. 16-17.
Remaining in Canada for the first half of the season due to risks associated with COVID-19, the three-time Olympians posted a two-run time of 1:22.284.
Walker and Snith were looking for a strong outing in Oberhof after winning ishe, but too many mistakes cost them an opportunity to mix it up in the battle for the medals.
“We definitely took a big step forward from (our first week back) in Konigssee World Cup,” said the 29-year-old Walker. “Training went really well this week, but we just had too many mistakes in the race. This shows we are making some good progress on the new sled, but it’s still pretty fresh and needs some getting used to.”
Walker and Snith have enjoyed success in Oberhof throughout their career with three top-five finishes. They have finished just off the podium in fourth spot two times.
The duo was part of the silver medal performance by Canada's relay team at the PyeongChang 2018 Olympics.