Helen Upperton is Whistler Sliding Centre’s new Head Coach & Sport Manager - Olympic Medalist in lead sport role with busy sliding season ahead

Friday, October 21, 2016

Whistler, BC: The Whistler Sliding Centre is welcoming a familiar face to its team! Former bobsleigh pilot Helen Upperton, two-time Olympian and Silver Medalist in 2010 on Whistler’s track, will take on the role of Head Coach & Sport Manager.

The 36 year-old will be the Lead for all things sport at the Whistler Sliding Centre and is excited about her new responsibility: “Whistler was my second home for many years. Both the track and the community made the experience so special and so wonderful. It feels great to be back and to have the opportunity to coach and help grow the sliding sports within the province of BC.” Roger Soane, President and CEO of Whistler Sport Legacies, the non-profit organization responsible for the Whistler Sliding Centre, is looking forward to having her on his team: “As an Olympic medalist on our track, Helen will be a great inspiration for our athletes and participants in our public programs. She is a perfect match for us as an Olympic legacy organization, and her passion about sliding sports will help us in our mission to Grow Sport.”

She will be responsible for supporting provincial and development sport programming by working closely with athletes, coaches and event planners to ensure an optimal training and competition environment at the Whistler Sliding Centre. She will also be involved in the ‘Discover Programs’, clinics designed as first-touch recruitment opportunities to attract prospective athletes to the three sliding sports bobsleigh, skeleton and luge. Having the Olympian on site will also be exciting for participants of the public bobsleigh experience “Thunder on Ice”, because Upperton will manage the pilot training for the bucket list activity, which will start into the season on December 12 this year.

Helen Upperton is considered one of the pioneers in Canadian women’s bobsleigh. Over the course of her 10 year career as a bobsleigh pilot, she was the driving force behind the emergence of the Canadian women’s program as an international bobsleigh powerhouse. She was the first to win a World Cup gold medal for Canada in women’s bobsleigh in January 2006 and finished fourth in the women’s event at the Torino Olympics shortly after. During the Olympic Winter Games 2010, she celebrated her biggest success on the track that she is now returning to, when she won the silver medal in the two-woman event with her teammate Shelley Ann Brown. She retired from the sport in the fall of 2012.

This upcoming sliding season will be a special one for the Whistler Sliding Centre, as it has been awarded two World Cup events which will bring the world’s best sliding athletes to Whistler for the BMW IBSF World Cup Bob & Skeleton 2016 (Dec 2-3) and the Viessmann Luge World Cup & Viessmann Team Relay World Cup 2016 (Dec 9-10).