Host City: Vancouver, Canada
Venue(s): Whistler Sliding Centre, Whistler
Date Started: February 23, 2010
Date Finished: February 24, 2010
Format: Four runs, total time determined placement.
At the start of the 2009-10 season the Olympic title was expected to be decided between the North American crews from Canada and the USA and Europe in the shape of Germany and world champions Great Britain; however, the Britons, Nicola Gautier-Minichiello and Gillian Cooke, suffered illness and injury and never approached the form of 2008-09.
The season prior to Vancouver had been dominated by Germany’s Cathleen Martini and Romy Logsch who had recorded five victories in the eight race World Cup series. However Martin’s decision to skip the Altenberg round had allowed her compatriot Sandra Kiriasis to become the winner of the World Cup despite failing to record a victory. Other races were won by American Shauna Rohbock and Kaillie Humphries of Canada.
For the first time at the Winter Olympics the event comprised four runs held over two days. The start of the event was just as explosive as the men’s event, with the Germany I bobsleigh of Sandra Kiriasis and Christin Senkel breaking the track record in a time of 53.41 in the opening run of the event, followed immediately by a new track record of 53.19 in the next slide by the Canada I bobsleigh of Kaillie Humphries and Heather Moyse . By the end of the first run, Martini and Logsch in the Germany II bobsleigh was just 0.09 seconds behind with Erin Pac and Elana Meyers in the United Stated II also posting the same time as the Germans. After the second run, United States II forged ahead of Germany II, but another track record of 53.01 by Canada I extended their lead to 0.13 seconds. The Canada II bobsleigh of Helen Upperton and Shelley-Ann Brown, who had started in 5th place after their first run, made their move in the third run, edging up into 3rd place ahead of the Germany II crew. At the end of the third run, both Pac and Meyers (USA) and Humphries and Moyse (CAN) held on to their top two positions, the Canadians again breaking the track record in a time of 52.85 seconds. The drama on the final run started when fourth placed Germany II crashed on the course and did not finish. The Canadian II crew then stormed to the fastest time of the run, 53.17, to give them a combined time of 3:33.13. The United Stated II crew were unable to respond, although their combined time of 3:33.40 was good enough for the bronze medal. Going last, the Canada I bobsleigh, for once, didn’t break the track record, but still won by 0.85 seconds over their compatriots.
The story behind the first Olympic appearance of a Belgian women’s crew was an unusual one. The team had been put together by means of a reality TV programme.