Australia is a strong medal contender in monobob as the sport makes its Olympic debut in Beijing.
Bree Walker and Kiara Reddingius were today announced as the bobsled athlete team for Australia.
It’s an Olympic debut for both 30-year-old Reddingius and 29-year-old Walker. The pair will race the two-woman event and Walker will contest the Monobob in its Olympic debut.
Walker earned selection with her combined mono and two-woman ranking of 10th in the world as the highest placed Australian pilot/
Bobsled Bree has taken the monobob world circuit by storm, claiming 12 world series podiums over the last two seasons including six gold.
The pair also have Australia’s best ever two-woman results with two top-10 finishes this season.
The icy tracks and wintry villages the pair compete in seem a world away from their hometowns, with Reddingius raised in Leonora in outback Western Australia and Melbourne-born Walker based in Cairns when not on the competition circuit.
However, they have shown they are at home in the top levels of bobsled racing, matching it with European and north American powerhouse nations.
Both athletes hail from an athletics background, with Reddingius a successful heptathlete, only just missing selection for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games and Walker a 400 metre hurdler.
“Congratulations to Bree and Kiara on your Olympic selection,” said Chef de Mission Geoff Lipshut.
“You have shown you are among the elite bobsledders in the world and I look forward to seeing what you can achieve in Beijing. I’m thrilled that Australians will get to see Bree make history as our first ever monobob Olympian, with the sport making its Olympic debut.
“For Australian athletes to be consistently finishing on or close to podiums against the traditional sliding sport heavyweights is an outstanding testament to the hard work and dedication you have given your craft.
The bobsledders will compete at the Yanqing Sliding Centre just outside Beijing, which includes a world-first 360 degree turn.
Walker said she was ecstatic to be named to her Olympic debut and show what Australians can do on the world stage.
“We’re all really excited, we’ve worked so hard for this and can’t wait to continue our Olympic journey in Beijing ,” Walker said.
“I’m very privileged to be a part of this group of athletes making history in Monbob as it makes its debut at the Winter Olympics.
“Everyone has said Australia can’t be successful, but why not? We’re all humans, no different to those athletes from the nations with big programs, and I can’t wait to show what Australia bobsledders can do in Beijing. And we’ve had so much support, from the Olympic Winter Institute, and Queensland Academy of Sport to help put us in this position to compete at the highest level.
“I hope there are athletes who see Kiara and I compete in Beijing and see their own opportunity in winter sports and to chase a Winter Olympic dream. People can see what we hopefully will be able to do in Beijing, and might the same as we did, google the bobsleigh website and see how they can get into the sport.
Walker and Reddingius will be the only Australian bobsledders in Beijing, with Australia finishing just outside of the top six nation rankings to qualify a second two-woman sled.
Together with the previously announced nominations of Nicholas Timmings (Men’s Skeleton) and recent World Cup winner Jaclyn Narracott (Women’s Skeleton), Bobsleigh and Skeleton Australia is confident we are fielding its most competitive team ever in Beijing 2022.
The women’s monobob will run from 13-14 February and the two-woman bobsleigh from 18-19 February at the Yanqing Sliding Centre.