Host City: Torino, Italy
Venue(s): , Cesana Pariol
Date Started: February 19, 2006
Date Finished: February 21, 2006
Format: Four runs, total time determined placement.
Since the Games of Salt Lake City Germany had taken a tight grip on the world of women’s bobsleigh. [Susi Erdmann] had begun the Olympic cycle as the dominant force in the sport but she had later been superseded by her compatriot [Sandra Kiriasis]. The strength of the Germans was made clear by the fact that World Cup runner-up Cathleen Martini failed to make the team. The only realistic threat to German dominance came from the USA and, with home advantage, the Italians. True to form Kiriasis and her brakewoman, the former speed skater [Anja Schneiderheinze], led on the first run followed by her German compatriot Erdmann. Difficult track conditions caused the field to close up after the second run but Germany still held the top two positions. The third run effectively decided the Olympic championship as while Kiriasis took her lead from a tenth to over half a second as Erdmann faltered badly and slipped from second to fourth. Kiriasis and Schneiderheinze comfortably held their lead to the finish and as Germany II slipped further down the leaderboard it was to be the sleds from USA, Italy and Canada that would contest the other medals. Canada I’s late charge could not propel them onto the podium and it was to be the American pairing of pilot [Shauna Rohbock] and brakewoman [Valerie Fleming] who would finish ahead of Italy for silver. Rohbock’s Olympic medal came four years after she suffered the disappointment of being dropped as eventual Salt Lake City champion [Jill Bakken]’s brakewoman shortly before the Games. [Gerda Weissensteiner]’s bronze medal meant that she became the first person of either sex to win Olympic medals at both bobsleigh and luge.