‘Coast Canadian’ comes back strong after crash

BREAK FROM TRAINING: Chris Spring, left, and a Canadian teammate take in some of the fast-paced action at St Moritiz this week.
BREAK FROM TRAINING: Chris Spring, left, and a Canadian teammate take in some of the fast-paced action at St Moritiz this week. CONTRIBUTED

BOBSLEDDING: Chris Spring has given his world championship preparation a boost by conducting a solid training block on the Swiss track that will host the event next month.

The pilot, a one-time Coast resident who competed for Australia before switching to Canada, spent this week training at St Moritz along with two other Canadian teams.

It meant bypassing the latest World Cup round, scheduled to conclude today in Altenberg, Germany. Altenberg was the scene of Spring's horror crash last year, when his four-man sled smashed into the wall.

Spring, 29, and two teammates were hospitalised for extended periods.

Nine months after the crash, he won the two-man and four-man races at the Canadian national championship.

Spring, who competed for Australia at the 2010 Olympics before moving to Calgary in disgust over a lack of funding, said the five days he spent at St Moritz would be crucial to his world championship campaign.

"This was the first time that all three teams had slid on this track, so it was a valuable week of training in preparation for the world championships," he said.

"Before coming here, every pilot was telling me how much I was going to love this track. I mean, it's the birthplace of bobsleigh, and to slide on the only natural track left in the world is an amazing experience."

On the World Cup standings, Spring is ranked 11 in the two-man and 13th in the four-man. His next event is the World Cup round in Konigssee, Germany, starting Friday

He last competed in Konigssee in February 2011.

"So it will have been a couple of years since driving that track, but I have fond memories from there and I am looking forward to getting back to such a unique and exciting track," he said.

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