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Justin Kripps won't travel to Europe for start of bobsleigh season due to pandemic

Canadian bobsled pilot Justin Kripps has delayed the start of his World Cup season until 2021 and instead will remain in Canada and train until at least January due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Canadian slider 'disappointed' but says COVID, travel restrictions make it impossible

Justin Kripps, seen above piloting Canada at the bobsleigh world championships in Whistler, B.C., in 2019, said in a social media post Monday that 'it’s no longer a good idea to travel to Europe to race the World Cups before Christmas.' (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

Canadian bobsled pilot Justin Kripps has delayed the start of his World Cup season until 2021.

The Olympic champion from Summerland, B.C., was aiming to begin the World Cup circuit this month but has instead decided to stay in Canada and train until at least January due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 33-year-old Kripps and his crew had just wrapped up training camp in Whistler, B.C., and originally planned to attend the first World Cup of the season in Latvia on Nov. 23 before the change.

"We've decided together with [Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton] that it's no longer a good idea to travel to Europe to race the World Cups before Christmas," Kripps said in an Instagram post on Monday.

"We're disappointed we won't be competing but the evolving [COVID] situation and travel restrictions has made it impossible for us to do it in a way that won't impede our preparation for World Champs in February and the Olympic test event in March. We'll be training hard in Calgary until January."

Kripps, who finished the 2019-20 World Cup season third in both the two- and four-man events and second overall, teamed with brakeman Alex Kopacz to win gold in the two-man at 2018 PyeongChang Olympics.

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