Team Kripps wins four-man bobsleigh bronze at Beijing 2022

Pilot Justin Kripps and his crew of Ryan Sommer, Cam Stones and Ben Coakwell have won bronze in the four-man bobsleigh event at Beijing 2022.

The foursome had entered the fourth run with a buffer of just 0.08 of a second on the fourth place German sled piloted by Christoph Hafer. Needing a clean final run down the track at the Yanqing Sliding Centre to secure their spot on the podium, the Canadians loaded well at the top. At one interval, their lead on Hafer shrunk to 0.01, but Kripps’ driving was as good as it could be and they came through the finish 0.06 ahead of Hafer, with a four-heat total time of 3:55.09.

Two German sleds claimed the gold and silver medals. Francesco Friedrich won his second straight Olympic title in the four-man by 0.37 of a second ahead of his compatriot Johannes Lochner, who finished 0.42 ahead of Kripps and company.

Four bobsledders hug after winning a medal
Team Canada’s Justin Kripps, Ryan Sommer, Cam Stones and Benjamin Coakwell celebrate after winning the bronze medal in the men’s 4-man bobsleigh finals during the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games on Sunday, February 02, 2022. Photo by COC/Handout Dave Holland

Kripps is the first Canadian pilot to win Olympic medals in the two-man and four-man events. He captured two-man gold at PyeongChang 2018. Over the last four years, he decided to focus a little more on the four-man, in the hopes he could be as successful in it as he had been in the two-man. He has been driving with Sommer, Stones and Coakwell in his sled over the last quadrennial, which has been key to creating their team chemistry.

This is Canada’s third Olympic medal ever in the four-man event. At Innsbruck 1964, Vic Emery, Doug Anakin, Peter Kirby and John Emery won gold for the country’s first Olympic medal in bobsleigh. It was another 46 years until Lyndon Rush, Chris Le Bihan, David Bissett and Lascelles Brown won bronze at Vancouver 2010.