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Lueders steps down as pilot coach of national bobsleigh team

The Canadian Press

5/24/2012 11:35:16 AM

CALGARY -- Pierre Lueders is leaving his job as development coach with the Canadian bobsleigh team.

Lueders, who piloted Canadian sleds to Olympic gold in 1998 and silver in 2006, says he wants a break from the sport.

"I have dedicated 22 years of my life almost exclusively to the sport of bobsleigh in Canada, both as an athlete and a coach, but I feel now it is time to take a break, look at other career options, and most importantly spend some much-needed time with my family," Lueders said in a statement.

"My goals when I joined the sport in 1989 was to leave the Canadian bobsleigh team in a better place than when I started. Working with world-leading coaches, countless talented teammates and mentoring aspiring Olympians, I believe I have accomplished that."

Lueders retired from driving after his fifth Olympics in 2010 and became a pilot coach with the national squad. The Edmonton native intends to remain in Calgary with wife and two daughters while exploring his career options.

"This is an unfortunate day for our sport in Canada, but Pierre has raised the bar throughout his career, and allowed Canadian bobsleigh athletes to believe they too can be Olympic champions," Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton president Reid Morrison said.