Kelowna's Eric Neilson capped off the skeleton season with a win at nationals in Calgary.

Neilson slides to Canadian championship

The 31-year-old from Kelowna enjoyed strong rookie season on World Cup skeleton circuit

Eric Neilson capped off his 2011-12 competitive season in style with a first-place showing at the Canadian national skeleton championships last weekend at Calgary Olympic Park.

After placing third in the opening run on Saturday, the 31-year-old from Kelowna took charge with a first-place effort in the second run, and remained on top for two more runs on the second and final day of competition.

It was another positive step forward for Neilson’s skeleton career, as he won silver last year at nationals.

In addition, he edged out Canadian teammate and Olympic gold medalist, Jon Montgomery for top honours in 2012.

“It’s my home track, I’ve spent a lot of time there, so I’m pretty comfortable there,” Neilson said from his home in Calgary. “It was nice to win and, as much as anything, it was a lot fun.

“Finishing ahead of Jon was a bonus. Competition is really stiff in Canada, so it’s a good way to measure yourself.”

Neilson is coming off a successful rookie season on the World Cup skeleton circuit.

His best results came in Winterberg, Germnay (fifth), Calgary (sixth) and Igls, Austria (seventh). He was also 13th at the world championship.

Neilson also posted what he considered to be a few disappointing results during the season, but still performed well enough to place 16th overall in the World Cup standings.

“That’s pretty good, but wish I could have done a little bit better,” Neilson said. “I had some really good races and some pretty bad ones. I need to be a little more consistent.”

Neilson doesn’t plan to take too much time off during the non-competitive season and says he’ll soon resume his dryland and fitness training.

After a respectable showing in his rookie season, Neilson’s desire to compete with the world’s top sliders has never been stronger.

“It’s really put the taste in my mouth, I’m craving it, and I don’t want anything less than being up there with the world’s best,” he said. “I feel like I’m at the point where I should be competing at that level. I just need to keep chipping away, and try to keep improving.”

Among Neilson’s future goals is earning a spot on the Canadian team for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.


Just Posted

Need to catch up on news? You’re covered

Every Saturday the Capital News will highlight stories from the week

Big White board school among best

Director of snow sports, Josh Foster, is one of the top instructors in Canada

Seniors prefer funeral to lifestyle planning

Survey finds 73% of seniors have a will, only 13% have long-term care plan

Okanagan College business students soar

Medal winners at Western Canadian Business Competition

UBCO civil engineer touts cohousing option

Gord Lovegrove says cohousing is sustainable social and economic lifestyle

VIDEO: B.C. Mounties reunite veteran with lost military medals

RCMP say Zora Singh Tatla, who served in the army in India for 28 years, is the righful owner

Inspections, training needed to prevent repeat of Fernie ammonia leak across B.C.

Ammonia is inherently dangerous and should be not used in skating and curling rinks, says one expert

Vees rout Smoke Eaters 5-2

Penticton is up 2-0 in best-of-seven playoff series

RCMP move to arrest pipeline protesters at entrance to Trans Mountain work site

28 demonstrators began blocking the entrance to Kinder Morgan’s work site at about 10 a.m. Saturday

Rockets battle Ams in opening round of WHL playoffs

Kelowna finishes off regular season Saturdday with 8-1 home ice win over Vancouver

Federal government seeks public feedback on pedestrian safety

What safety measures do you think need to improved for pedestrians and cyclists?

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

4 facts to ring in St. Patrick’s Day

What do you really know about the Irish celebration?

Experts urging caution as rabbits die by the hundreds in B.C. city

Province of B.C. confirms more positive tests for rabbit haemorrhagic disease

Most Read