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Bobsleigh hopes pushed by Duncans

22 January 2010

Australia will send a strong bobsleigh contingent to the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games to take on the most intimidating track in the world.

The Australian Olympic Committee today ratified the selection of two two-man teams.

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Pilot Jeremy Rolleston of Sydney has been selected for his second Olympic Team. He will be pushed by crewman Duncan Pugh of Perth who works at a local surf club, when he is not hurling himself down the ice.

Australia’s leading pilot of the season Chris Spring, who was born in Darwin and lives in Canada, will pilot the AUS1 team with crewman Duncan Harvey. Harvey, like Pugh and Spring is making his Olympic debut.

It has been a long few months for the Australian crews competing across Europe and North America to secure the placings and subsequent points required for selection.

Rolleston, who finished 22nd at the 2006 Games, is glad selection is finalised and all the focus can now go to conquering the track at the Whistler Sliding Centre.

“It wasn’t the season I was after but selection was the priority and I’m very relieved. Now we can refocus on competing at the Games and putting down four good runs,” Rolleston said.

“It’s like finals footy really. You’ve got to get there first and then the real action starts.”

Rolleston and the other Australian athletes are excited and wary of the new facility two hours north of Vancouver.

“You can only describe the track as awesome and insane. It’s the fastest in the world with speeds up to 150 kilometres an hour and it’s extremely technical at the top - you can’t afford to have a bad corner.

“In international testing, four of the five top pilots in the world came unstuck.”

Harvey from Sydney’s northern beaches only began the sport after Rolleston saw him training for athletics and encouraged him to give it a go.

“It’s pretty amazing really. I just can’t fathom what it’s going to be like at the Games,” Harvey said.

“I still can’t quite believe that I am getting to realise my lifelong dream of going to the Olympics.”

“I always thought it would be at a Summer Games but my switch to winter sport has paid dividends.

“Chris [Spring] has improved phenomenally as a driver over the last year so we are going in well prepared.”



The bobsleigh section of the 2010 Australian Olympic Winter Team:

Men                                     Event/s
Pilot: Chris Spring                  Two-Man
Crewman: Duncan Harvey       Two-Man
                                          
Pilot: Jeremy Rolleston          Two-Man
Crewman: Duncan Pugh         Two-Man
                                          
Australia is hoping to be allocated a quota place in the men’s 4-man event. If this is the case the additional athlete would be Anthony Ryan as a crewman.

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