June 30, 2022

Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton says it can interact an impartial, third-party mediator to assist deal with the considerations of its athletes.

The nationwide sport group despatched an e-mail outlining its mediation plan to 49 of Canada’s bobsled and skeleton athletes on Thursday morning.

It’s in response to a letter signed by greater than 60 athletes that was despatched on Monday to Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton’s board of administrators.

That letter known as for the resignation of president Sarah Storey and excessive efficiency director Chris Le Bihan.

The e-mail, obtained by The Canadian Press, was solely despatched to lively sliding athletes, whereas the unique letter of grievance was signed by lively and retired athletes.

Thursday’s e-mail from Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton’s board outlined a two-step course of to treatment the athletes’ considerations.

BCS stated step one will likely be to convene conferences with athletes to determine problems with concern and alternatives for enchancment throughout the group’s high-performance program.

Step 2 is to convene a mediated assembly of athletes, the board, in addition to representatives from Sport Canada, Personal The Podium, and the Canadian Olympic Committee to evaluate the problems and develop an motion plan.

The decision for mediation comes two weeks after the closure of the Beijing Olympics, the place Justin Kripps piloted Canada’s four-man sled to a bronze medal and fellow Canadian Christine de Bruin claimed bronze in monobob.

The athletes letter cites points with tradition, security, transparency and governance, claiming employees makes arbitrary selections on issues like staff choice based mostly on biases, and has little concern for athlete security.

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Canada’s skeleton staff competed on the Beijing Olympic take a look at occasion this previous fall with out a coach current, which led to quite a few bumps and bruises on the unfamiliar monitor.

Athletes on bobsled’s growth staff stated they’d no entry to medical remedy at a camp at Whistler, B.C., together with an athlete who was ejected from a sled.

A number of skeleton athletes not too long ago advised The Canadian Press that they had been virtually fully self-funded.

Mirela Rahneva, who was fifth in ladies’s skeleton in Beijing, estimated her Olympic season value her about $30,000.

The athletes’ letter stated “systemic points inside BCS have adversely impacted each the sports activities of bobsleigh and skeleton and have develop into more and more problematic. Many athletes have suffered bodily, mentally, emotionally and financially because of the group failing to handle these systemic points, and the way forward for each sports activities are in jeopardy beneath the present administrative regime.

“The athletes imagine that the instant resignation … is required to shift the tradition of this group right into a protected, supportive, practical athlete-centric mannequin from which to construct future world and Olympic champions.”

Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton tried a tradition shift after the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics, the place Kaillie Humphries captured her third Olympic medal however then filed a harassment grievance towards a former coach. Competing for the U.S. in Beijing, Humphries gained monobob gold.

With recordsdata from Lori Ewing in Toronto.