Pierre Lueders, bobsledder (born 26 September 1970 in Edmonton, AB). Lueders is one of Canada's most decorated bobsledders, with two Olympic medals and numerous top finishes at world events in both two- and four-man sleds.
Pierre Lueders, bobsledder (born 26 September 1970 in Edmonton, AB). Lueders is one of Canada's most decorated bobsledders, with two Olympic medals and numerous top finishes at world events in both two- and four-man sleds. Lueders began bobsledding after a brief career as a decathlete, entering professional competition in 1990. He excelled at the sport, entering his first world event in 1992 and winning his first World Cup in 1994 in the two-man competition. Famous for his powerful push starts as the pilot of the sled, Lueders made his Olympic Games debut at Lillehammer in 1994, earning respectable 7th and 12th place finishes in the two- and four-man competitions.
In 1998 the successful partnership of Lueders and David MacEachern, Leuders' brakeman off and on since 1994, was the only Canadian bobsled team other than Victor Emery's four-man team at Innsbruck in 1964 to win a medal at an Olympics. In the season prior to the 1998 Olympics at Nagano, Lueders and MacEachern successfully captured the two-man world championship title, the second two-man title for Lueders and the first for MacEachern. The Nagano Olympics, however, was their crowning achievement. After two days of competition and four heats, the Italian team of Guenther Huber and Antonio Tartaglia and the Canadian team of Lueders and MacEachern ended up with an identical cumulative time of 3:37.24. For the first time ever, two teams shared the Olympic gold medal in bobsled, a fitting conclusion to what many claim was one of the most exciting bobsled competitions in Olympic history.
The team of Lueders and MacEachern split shortly after the 1998 Olympics so that MacEachern could pursue the sport as a pilot. Although MacEachern gradually fell out of international competition and eventually retired, Lueders had moderate success with new brakemen Ken LeBlanc and Giulio Zardo, and qualified for a spot on the 2002 Salt Lake Olympic Team where he placed 5th and 9th in two- and four-man competition. Lueders continued to have successful runs with other partners, consistently placing at the top of world standings in the years that followed, and he achieved Olympic success once again when, in 2006 at Torino, he and Jamaican-born bobsledder Lascelles Brown beat the odds in severe weather to win the silver medal. Lueders was unable to reach the podium at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, where he finished fifth in both the two- and four-man events.
In all, Lueders amassed eight world championship medals and 88 World Cup medals in addition to his gold and silver Olympic wins.