Christopher Spring pumps his fists as his two man sled crosses finish line

Christopher Spring

Biographie

July 1, 2013 was a very special Canada Day for bobsleigh pilot Christopher Spring as he became a Canadian citizen. He competed at his second Olympic Winter Games at Sochi 2014, but his first for Canada. Representing his native Australia, Spring piloted his two-man sled to a 22nd place finish at Vancouver 2010. He improved on that with a fifth place finish in the two-man and a 11th-place finish in the four-man at Sochi 2014.

In his third Olympic appearance at PyeongChang 2018, he placed 10th in two-man and 16th in four-man. At Beijing 2022, Spring and brakeman Mike Evelyn were the top Canadian sled in the two-man event as they finished seventh. Spring also piloted his four-man crew into the top 10 for the first time in his Olympic career. 

Spring discovered bobsleigh at age 23 when he moved to Calgary in early 2006 on a one-year work visa as part of his travels around the world. He happened to catch the 2007 Canadian Championships and was immediately hooked. He researched how to get involved in the sport and in 2008 attended driving school in Calgary to learn the fundamentals of piloting a sled. After two years competing on the developmental circuits, he made his Olympic debut. 

Following the 2009-10 season, Spring began representing Canada. The 2011-12 season was to be his first full year on the World Cup circuit. A regular top-10 finisher in the first half, his season came to an abrupt end in January when he lost control of his four-man sled during a training run on the technically demanding track in Altenberg, Germany. Spring sustained a major puncture wound to his buttocks and upper leg area from debris that came through the bottom of the sled. He was airlifted to hospital in Dresden where he received 18 staples to close the wound and remained there for eight days. 

Returning to World Cup competition in 2012-13, Spring had his breakthrough when he won four-man bronze in Whistler for his first World Cup medal. He earned his first two-man World Cup podium in the 2013-14 season opener in Calgary. He got his first World Cup victory in January 2016 in the two-man with Lascelles Brown in Whistler. 

Spring finished the 2017-18 season ranked third in the World Cup two-man standings, winning the only Crystal Globe of his career on the strength of two podiums, including one victory. He also won two bronze medals in the four-man that season, including his only career podium at the legendary Olympia Bobrun in St. Moritz.    

During the 2018-19 season, Spring competed primarily in North American Cup races, appearing at just one World Cup stop as a warmup for the world championships in Whistler. He finished fourth in the two-man at the worlds with brakeman Neville Wright. Spring decided to take a break from bobsleigh in 2019-20 to both give his body a rest and pursue his other passion by getting his commercial pilot’s license. 

He rejoined the national team in 2020-21, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic the Canadian bobsleigh team only competed in the second half of the season. Spring had the top Canadian sled in the two-man at the 2021 World Championships, finishing ninth with Mike Evelyn. He also broke into the top-10 in the four-man. During the 2021-22 season, Spring came close to the World Cup podium twice, finishing fourth twice in the two-man with Evelyn in Altenberg. 

A Little More About Christopher

Getting into the Sport: Had his Olympic dream sparked by watching the Sydney 2000 Games; was a 100m sprinter at the time and knew he wanted to be an Olympian while watching Maurice Greene win 100m gold… Outside Interests: In the past has worked during the summer as a bobsleigh driver for tourists at Canada Olympic Park… Has his commercial pilot’s license… Enjoys hiking, snowboarding, playing guitar, and having beers by the lake in the off-season… Odds and Ends: Nickname: Springer… Always kisses his helmet on the Canadian flag before putting it on and when taking it off after every run to say thanks for protecting him… Puts temporary tattoos on his calves, one of a Canadian flag or maple leaf and one of an Australian flag… Favourite motto: “Fun is fast” (his team’s motto)…

Faits saillants olympiques

Jeux Sport Épreuve Rang
2010 Vancouver (Australia)BobsleighTwo-Man - Men22
2014 SochiBobsleighTwo-Man - Men5
2014 SochiBobsleighFour-Man - Men11
2018 PyeongChangBobsleighTwo-Man - Men10
2018 PyeongChangBobsleighFour-Man - Men16
2022 BeijingBobsleighTwo-Man - Men7
2022 BeijingBobsleighFour-Man - Men9

Palmarès international

Olympic Winter Games: 2022 - 7th (2-man), 9th (4-man); 2018 - 10th (2-man), 16th (4-man); 2014 - 5th (2-man), 11th (4-man); *2010 - 22nd (2-man)

IBSF World Championships: 2021 - 9th (2-man), 10th (4-man); 2019 - 4th (2-man), 10th (4-man); 2017 - 13th (2-man), 11th (4-man), 6th (team); 2016 - 6th (2-man), 11th (4-man), 7th (team); 2015 - 17th (2-man), 7th (4-man); 2013 - 6th (2-man), 17th (4-man); 2011 - 19th (2-man), 14th (4-man), 7th (team); *2009 - 29th (2-man)

*with Australia