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Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Manitoba's Montgomery to miss Sochi

Posted: 01/21/2014 1:00 AM | Comments: 0

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CALGARY -- The man who gave Canada golden and memorable moments at the 2010 Winter Olympics will not recreate them in Sochi, Russia, next month.

Olympic men's skeleton champion Jon Montgomery has fallen short of qualifying for Canada's 2014 Olympic team.

The 34-year-old slider from Russell, Man., finished seventh at a World Cup in Igls, Austria, on the weekend.

But Montgomery needed fourth or better to both qualify a third Canadian men's sled for Sochi and be the man aboard it.

Montgomery's gold medal at the Whistler Sliding Centre and his subsequent auctioning off of a pitcher of beer in the village square four years ago made him a folk hero in Canada.

But Montgomery has struggled mightily to bond with the sled he built from scratch when he took the 2011-12 season off from racing.

He didn't generate enough top-six results in World Cup racing over the last season and a half, nor enough points in the last few weeks of racing to reach Sochi.

"There really wasn't a turning point," Canadian team head coach Duff Gibson told The Canadian Press on Monday in Calgary. "He just couldn't get that sled going."

Canada owned two Olympic berths for each gender when Calgary's John Fairbairn, Eric Neilson of Kelowna, B.C., Calgary's Sarah Reid and Mellisa Hollingsworth of Eckville, Alta., were named to the team in December.

Montgomery was en route to Canada from Europe and didn't immediately return a phone message left Monday.

 

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 21, 2014 C4

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