Already friendly relations between Canada and Germany only figure to grow friendlier after Monday’s results at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang.
The two nations tied for the fastest run in the two-man bobsleigh at the Olympic Sliding Centre, meaning each duo will go home with gold medals.
Canada’s pilot Justin Kripps and brakeman Alex Kopacz turned in a combined four-run time of of three minutes and 16.86 seconds. German pilot Francesco Friedrich and brakeman Thorsten Margis turned in the exact same time.
The countries flip-flopped positions over the course of the runs. Kripps sat second after his first two runs and jumped into pole position with his third, but saw his 0.06-second lead on Germany slip away amid Friedrich’s track-record final run (48.96 seconds). Canada’s pair picked up just enough speed down the stretch to ensure a shared title.
For the Canadians, this victory comes with more than a whiff of deja vu. The last and only other time America’s northern neighbors captured two-man bobsled gold, they did so in a dead heat with Italy at the 1998 Nagano Games. That was the first tie in Olympic bobsledding history. The only other tie also came in Nagano, when France and Great Britain both claimed bronze in the four-man bobsleigh.
Germany, meanwhile, will tack on its eighth gold and 20th overall medal in the two-man bobsled—both of which are by far the highest totals of any nation in this event.
Latvia’s Oskars Melbardis and Janis Strenga finished 0.05 seconds behind Canada and Germany, but might have come out ahead in trivial historical terms. The two-man bobsled bronze is not only the Eastern European nation’s first medal of these Olympics, but also ensures that PyeongChang will go down as the most diverse Winter Games ever as far as medalists are concerned.
Latvia's bronze in two-man bobsled means 27 nations have won medals (counting Olympic Athletes from Russia), breaking the Winter Olympic record of 26 from 2006, 2010 and 2014.
— Nick Zaccardi (@nzaccardi) February 19, 2018
No American pair wound up higher than 14th, though there was nonetheless an American connection to the victors. Canada’s Kripps was born on Naalehu, near the southern tip of Hawaii’s Big Island.
In the bigger picture, Canada and Germany are both currently competing for second place in PyeongChang. Norway leads the way with 28 medals, including 11 golds. Germany’s next with 20 total (10 gold), followed by Canada with 17 and 6, respectively.
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