Whitby’s Cam Stones and pilot Justin Kripps come up short in two-man bobsleigh, finishing tenth in Olympic final

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Published February 15, 2022 at 3:33 pm

Despite being a medal favourite heading into Beijing and having a defending gold medalist as his pilot, the stars didn’t align for Whitby’s Cam Stones and pilot Justin Kripps in Tuesday morning’s Two-Man Bobsleigh competition.

Kripps, who tied for gold in this event in 2018 in Pyeongchang (with now-retired brakeman Alex Kopacz) with Germany’s Francesco Friederich, finished tenth with Stones in 2022.

It was the lowest placing in three Winter Games appearances in the event for Kripps, who was sixth in 2014 in Sochi.

Friederich, meanwhile, won his second straight gold and led a German sweep of the medals. Johannes Lochner and Christoph Hafer grabbed silver and bronze.

Chris Spring and brakeman Mike Evelyn were the top Canadians in seventh (matching Spring’s placing from Sochi in 2014), while Taylor Austin and Daniel Sunderland finished 20th in their first Games.

It was the lowest placing in three Winter Games appearances in the event for Kripps, who was sixth in 2014 in Sochi, Russia.

Kripps and Stones, who teamed up in the two-man after PyeongChang, were peaking at the right time and arrived in Beijing as serious medal contenders after racking up six World Cup medals this season, including three in the two-man.

The last two races were especially promising, with the pair claiming a bronze at the IBSF World Cup in Winterberg, Germany January 9, followed by a silver in the season finale a week later in St. Moritz, Switzerland.

“Our expectations from Beijing are to walk away with a medal in two- and four-man,” Stones said upon arrival in China last month. “We are in a great position to do so and have all the tools to make that dream a reality.”

Unfortunately, Kripps and Stones found themselves in a hole early, sliding to eighth and 14th in the first two runs Monday to fall more than eight-tenths of a second behind.

Eighth-place finishes in each of the last two runs were not good enough to make up any ground.

Both Kripps and Stones will get a chance at redemption and another shot at a medal Friday and Saturday when they compete in the four-man event with Ryan Sommer and Ben Coakwell.

This is the second Olympics for Stones, who finished 12th in the four-man in Pyeongchang four years ago. Kripps, meanwhile is contemplating retirement at 35 but will wait until the summer before making any decision.

But not before he and Stones take one more shot at an Olympic medal in the four-man event this weekend.

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