Kelowna slider makes World Cup debut

Eric Neilson has shown he can slide with the best of them.

The 30-year-old from Kelowna has the first two international races of his career in skeleton under his belt, and the results are encouraging.

Neilson made his debut with the Canadian team at a World Cup last week in Lilliehammer, Norway, and finished in a tie for seventh place, along with fellow Canadian and veteran Mike Douglas of Toronto.

Neilson overcame some early jitters to show he belongs with the world's top sliders in the Olympic sport of skeleton. He put down the seventh-fastest run in his second trip down the track to climb his way up the standings.

“I was pretty nervous going into the race, which I don’t normally get, but being my first World Cup race I had a few butterflies,” said Neilson, 30, a graduate of Rutland Senior Seconday. “I felt like my nerves got the better of me in my first run and I muscled the sled through some corners which cost me. I was much more relaxed on the second run and didn’t bully my sled down the track. I thought my time was good, but never did I think I’d move up that many spots because there are some great athletes on this tour. My teammates really mentored me through the week and were a huge help."

In Neilson's second race on Dec. 8 at La Plagne, France he turned in a successful opening run to qualify for the finals.

However, in his second run Neilson crashed and could not compete in the finals.

He is currently 11th overall in the World Cup skeleton standings.


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