US Bobsledder: Whistler Track 'Stupid Fast'

Swiss Olympian pulls out for 'safety reasons'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 20, 2010 9:11 AM CST
US Bobsledder: Whistler Track 'Stupid Fast'
Pilot Shauna Rohbock, right, and brake Elana Meyers of USA 1 blast out of the start in the first run of the women's Bobsled World Cup race in Whistler, British Columbia, on Friday Feb. 6, 2009.   (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Frank Gunn)

Calling the Olympic sliding track "stupid fast," American bobsledder Shauna Rohbock said the venue that took Nodar Kumarishtavili's life could generate speeds too dangerous for racing. "I think they went a little overboard on this track," Rohbock said last night. The silver medalist at the 2006 Turin Games said she has felt this way since testing the course nearly two years ago. It's so fast, Rohbock said, that women's sleds will "be breaking the men's track record by race time. It's ridiculous."

Rohbock said speeds in the final turns of the 16-curve track were pushing the boundaries of what she thought she could handle. "I wish everybody knew what we saw at the bottom," Rohbock said. "Your brain almost can't catch up with what your hands need to do." Swiss driver Daniel Schmid withdrew yesterday "for safety reasons" after two practice crashes. But others find the track exhilarating. "We just went 145 km/hr (about 90mph) ...that's fast!!!," US brake Elana Meyers tweeted. "WOO HOO! Day 1 of training complete!" (More Elana Meyers stories.)

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