De Bruin wrapped her latest run with the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation at their world championship event for the 2019-20 season in Germany late last month.
Christine de Bruin started strong during the latest bobsled season and has ended it in the winner’s circle.
The one-time town of Stony Plain resident wrapped her latest run with the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation at their world championship event for the 2019-20 season in Germany late last month. Athletes who take part in the sport at this level travel around the world and compete in a variety of races on different tracks so that the federation can determine the global rankings for both men and women.
At earlier points in the season de Bruin was ranked fourth in the world alongside partner Kristen Bujnowski. She is now in third globally for two-women racing, triumphed over gold medalist Kaillie Humphries — who made the news last year for her shift to the United States from Canada’s teams — at events earlier in the season and came within hundredths of seconds of beating German rivals for second at the championship.
“I am proud that she is able to compete at this level,” father Marvin Bushie said. “The fact that she is in the top five in most of her races, it is not for the faint of heart. I am very impressed with where she ended up.”
De Bruin has been involved in athletics ever since her days as a student at Memorial Composite High School in Stony Plain and took up bobsledding after the influence of a coach in college. She began driving in 2013, went to the Olympics in South Korea a few years later and is awed at representing the nation globally.
“[We were told] that we were the second-ever Canadian team to win a world championships medal and we did that last year too,” she wrote in an email. “It was so humbling to hear and to be right in the middle of this was so exciting. We went against four good German teams, one of which had my former teammate.”
She will go back into training over the summer, Bushie hopes his daughter and her partner can get some more advanced equipment for the next season, and, for de Bruin, she knows what she needs to work on. With a little bit of practice, her start will get better and she will be in first or second next time around.
“We really found this year that the push is getting more and more important,” de Bruin added. “We need to get that more competitive and that should put us on the top of the podium. I am going to work a bit differently and will be putting a lot more emphasis on technique instead of just sheer speed and power.”
Her father will be watching and, whatever happens, knows what his daughter does is impressive.
“When you look at them competing on television you do not see the hard parts,” he said. “No one sees her trying to get healthy or living out of a suitcase. I did not think about them and it makes the feat of being able to compete and medal at that level bigger than what it seems like it should be for most people.”
De Bruin and Bujnowski are expected to lead Team Canada at the 2022 Winter Olympics in China.