Bob­sled coach Lin­der headed to Korean Olympics

The Drumheller Mail - - FRONT PAGE - Pa­trick Ko­lafa The Drumheller Mail

Mor­rin School grad­u­ate Flo­rian Lin­der is set to par­tic­i­pate in the Win­ter Olympics in PyeongChan­g as a coach for the Korean bob­sled team.

Drumheller Mail read­ers are fa­mil­iar with Flo­rian Lin­der’s bob­sled­ding ca­reer. He joined the Cana­dian Na­tional team and com­peted on the World Cup cir­cuit. He at­tended the 2006 Win­ter Olympics in Turin.

After his ca­reer as a sled­der, he turned to coach­ing and was part of the coach­ing staff for team Canada dur­ing the Van­cou­ver Olympics. From there, he went on to help coach the gold medal­ing Rus­sian team at the Sochi Olympics in 2014.

“I was con­tacted last May by the Korean Bob­sleigh Fed­er­a­tion ask­ing if I would work with the team. Ini­tially, I turned down the of­fer as I am cur­rently work­ing as an In­struc­tor at Leth­bridge Col­lege,” said Lin­der. “How­ever we man­aged to come up with a mod­i­fied sched­ule which worked around my col­lege com­mit­ments. I am work­ing with Pierre Lued­ers again, he is a big part as to why I am work­ing with Korea.”

In­ter­est­ingly enough he has coached for the host­ing coun­try in each of the Olympics.

“It is a unique sit­u­a­tion… They are see­ing the suc­cess we have had, and know what we bring to the ta­ble to tai­lor to the host na­tion,” he said.

He is head­ing to Korea on Fe­bru­ary 6.

Lin­der is a tech­ni­cal starts coach and per­for­mance an­a­lyst. He fo­cuses on the start, push and load of the bob­sled. Hav­ing com­peted and coached for many years, he rec­og­nizes the Korean team is strong. He says his cur­rent team has great ath­letes; men­tally, phys­i­cally in­tel­lec­tu­ally. They have a great work ethic and mo­ti­va­tion.

He has trav­elled to Korea on a num­ber of oc­ca­sions to work with the team, and last sum­mer the team came to Cal­gary to train. Rather than com­pet­ing in the World Cup cir­cuit,

they are fo­cus­ing on train­ing at their home track in prepa­ra­tion for the Olympics.

While step­ping on to the world stage seems like a reach for an ath­lete who comes from Mor­rin, he says it helped to set him up for suc­cess.

“Grow­ing up in a small com­mu­nity like Mor­rin pro­vided an un­der­stand­ing of the im­por­tance of com­mu­nity. While I may not get back as of­ten as I would like, grow­ing up you were in school or play­ing sports with the same group of kids (back then) build­ing re­la­tion­ships and life skills,” he said. “Since it was such a small group you were held ac­count­able and built trust around the team, these fun­da­men­tals I still hold in very high re­gard. As an ath­lete or coach hav­ing trust is ex­tremely im­por­tant, one of the first things I work on is build­ing a trust­ing re­la­tion­ship. Part of this is be­ing ac­count­able for your ac­tions.”

submi••ed

Flo­rian Lin­der is Olympics bound once again, •his •ime coach­ing •he hos• na•ions’ bob­sled •eam. He leaves for PyeongChan­g on Fe­bru­ary 6.

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