Elisabeth (Vathje) Maier
Elisabeth Vathje turned heads during the 2014-15 skeleton season. As a World Cup rookie, she stood on the podium with a silver medal from her very first race in Lake Placid. A week later she found herself atop the podium for the first time, having won the race on her home track in Calgary. She earned two more second-place finishes later in the season in St. Moritz and Igls. She capped the year with a bronze medal in her first world championship appearance on one of her favourite tracks in Winterberg. Vathje couldn’t find quite the same success in her sophomore season on the World Cup circuit, but did find a bright light in winning her first national title.
In 2016-17, Vathje returned to the World Cup podium, taking first place at races in Whistler and Winterberg. But towards the end of the season, she had to compete through mononucleosis and a liver infection at the PyeongChang 2018 test event. Vathje bounced back to earn four podium finishes during the 2017-18 World Cup season. Among them was a second-place finish in Innsbruck where she shared the podium with teammate Mirela Rahneva. Vathje ended the season ranked third in the World Cup standings. In her Olympic debut at PyeongChang 2018, she was the top-ranked Canadian in women’s skeleton, placing ninth.
Vathje’s first international race was on the North American Cup circuit in April 2010. Her career progression included three appearances at the world junior championships in 2011, 2012 and 2014, highlighted by a silver medal at the latter.
A little more about Elisabeth…
Getting into the Sport: Became hooked on the Olympic Games as an 8-year-old watching Salt Lake City 2002… After her father was on a flight with the Canadian luge team he thought that might be a good fit for her, but at 14 she was too old to start luge and too young to try bobsleigh; instead attended an Alberta Skeleton Association school and fell in love with the sport… Outside Interests: Mentors junior high school girls in track and field… Travels with puzzles and watches a lot of Netflix on the road… Loves building with Legos and playing a little ukulele… Odds and Ends: Was so young when she first started competing internationally that her mom had to travel with her; she’s now a staple on the World Cup circuit, giving athletes a mom hug when they need it… Favourite quote: “A lot of people have gone further than they thought they could because someone else thought they could.” – Zig Ziglar… Inspired by Chandra Crawford and her loud and proud singing of O Canada at Turin 2006 and Kaillie Humphries for how serious and passionate she is about her sport…
Notable International Results
Olympic Winter Games: 2018 – 9th
IBSF World Championships: 2017 – 6th; 2016 – 6th; 2015 – BRONZE