Christine de Bruin ready to roll on bobsled world cup

The 30-year-old competed to a seventh place finish at the two-man bobsled races in the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.

De Bruin and her teammate on the bobsled course. The Stony Plain native is gearing up for a new competition on the world stage today. Viesturs Lacis

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Stony Plain’s Christine de Bruin had a successful season on the bobsled track last year and is gearing up to go even higher this time around.

The 30-year-old competed to a seventh place finish at the two-man bobsled races in the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.

She recently triumphed over gold medalist Kaillie Humphries – who made the news for her shift to the United States from Canada’s teams – during cup races and U.S. team trials at Lake Placid, N.Y., last month and is set to compete at another event in the community beginning Friday.

De Bruin’s career has earned her a suite of medals and left father, Marvin Bushie, beaming about her “great start” to the current season. De Bruin says the results are not a fluke and par for the course for what she has experienced in her lengthy career as a bobsled athlete thus far in life.

“Last year that was already happening,” de Bruin said. “I did two world cups and got second in both of those races. I beat out one person who was an Olympic champion and the other got silver in South Korea. Knowing I am at that level now is just really incredible to realize.”

De Bruin grew up on an acreage just outside of Stony Plain. She attended Memorial Composite High School and did not initially expect she would be a bobsledder during her early years. Her first calling was track and field, but later, a coach in college changed her direction.

“I was at the University of Alberta and after a couple of years I was just done with being an athlete,” she said. “I just wanted to have a normal life, but then he sat me down and said ‘No, Christine I really want you to go to Calgary and try out for the nation’s bobsledding team.”

She made it into the sport and began her journey with it on the development side. She began driving in 2013 and finished fourth in her first continental cup that same year. Three first-place wins followed in 2015 and then she took her place on the global stage.

While that would be the pinnacle for most people, de Bruin added she feels it was only after that experience that she began to hit her stride within the field.

“After that year, that is when we started to really excel,” de Bruin said. “Usually you kind of more gradually get better and better, but going from [where we were] to all of a sudden beating out world class champions, I was very shocked, but then I ended up doing it again.”

Preparation for this weekend’s competition has been focused on a lot of pushing and she says that it is worth doing, but hard to get into.

“It takes a lot of work,” she said. “But if you are a good sprinter and can be explosive and fast, it is for you.”

De Bruin’s results can be found online at the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation website.

epretzer@postmedia.com

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