Canada, Germany Share Gold in Thrilling 2-Man Bobsled

Justin Olsen and Evan Weinstock were the top U.S. sled, finishing 14th

It set up for a thrilling finish: Five two-man bobsled teams were within .12 seconds of each other heading into the final heat. And it didn't disappoint.

Canada's Justin Kripps and Alexander Kopacz, the last sled in that final heat, pulled dead even with Germany's Francesco Friedrich and Thorsten Margis to share the gold medal.

Four heats, and both teams finished them in exactly 3:16.86.

Latvia's Oskars Melbardis and Janis Strenga took the bronze, just ahead of two other German teams. 

Justin Olsen and Olympic rookie Evan Weinstock were the top American sled, finishing in 14th. 

For the Americans, who have struggled in the Bobsled recently, the result had a bitter lining: Even though he drives for Canada, Kripps was born in Hawaii. 

And the sliders racing for the U.S. didn't exactly have the same level of success  in the 2-man. 

"I think we have a great shot," Kripps said after the second run, when he was in second place. He was born in Hawaii, has lived in about a half-dozen countries, identifies as Canadian and also holds an Australian passport.

For the Americans, the event underscored the hole created by the death of Steve Holcomb in May. Holcomb won bronze in two-man at the Sochi Games four years ago for the first American medal in this event in 62 years, but without him, the Amercians couldn't crack the top 10.

Olsen — still recovering from his emergency appendectomy just four days before the opening ceremony — and Weinstock were the top U.S. sled, sitting in 14th place halfway and more than a full second and a half out of a medal spot.

Weinstock said he didn't feel any pressure on his first Olympic stage, and wasn't surprised that Olsen was fine so quickly after surgery.

"It seems like this whole season we've had a lot of setbacks," Weinstock said. "I just know his mentality and I know how tough he is and I knew he wouldn't let this be a setback for both of us. I was confident in his ability to get back as close as he could to 100 percent and I think he's right there."

Nick Cunningham and Hakeem Abdul-Saboor finished 21st for the U.S. after three runs, four spots ahead of fellow Americans Codie Bascue and Sam McGuffie. Only the top 20 advanced to the final heat.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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