WHISTLER (Reuters) - Brotherly love will be in the air when the Olympic luge doubles takes place at Whistler’s lightning fast track on Wednesday.
With memories of the training accident that killed Georgian Nodar Kumaritashvili still fresh, Canadians Chris and Mike Moffat will seek reassurance from each other when they take on the curve that proved so deadly.
“With the adversity that we’ve had here this week Chris is the perfect person to be next to,” 27-year-old Mike told reporters after a training run on Monday.
”We’re like any brothers. We’ve done everything together. Yeah, we used to have tape line down the back seat of the car on family vacations, but Chris and I have always got on well.
“It’s a perfect match and I couldn’t ask for a better doubles partner.”
Chris, 30, said the best thing about sliding with his kid brother was that they can let off steam when things go wrong.
”It’s great because we can have brutal honesty with each other,“ Chris said. ”If Mike screws up I tell Mike and if I screw up Mike’s very blunt...but it’s water off a duck’s back.
“We get back on the next run and there’s no ill-will toward each other. We are still brothers at the end of the day.”
With father Ed being president of the Canadian Luge Association it is easy to imagine family dinners dominated by sliding talk but the Calgary brothers have a golden rule.
“We leave the luge talk to the track and training,” Chris said. “That’s the rule. We usually just talk about little cousins and stuff.”
The Moffats are not the only brothers entered for Wednesday’s competition which will start from the junior push-off following last Friday’s crash.
Austrians Andreas and Wolfgang Linger are hoping to repeat their gold medal performance in Turin and compatriots Tobias and Markus Schiegl are also sliding together.
The Latvian team of Andris and Juris Sics finished seventh in Turin and their careers began with a schoolboy prank.
“One night when he was nine Juris broke into the luge track in Sigulda where we live and started going down in a little plastic kids sled,” 24-year-old told Reuters.
”He got caught by a course worker and the guy said if you are so mad to go down there in that thing you had better come and join the club and get coached.
“When I found out the next day, of course I was jealous and wanted to do it too. Now we are in our second Olympics together and hoping to get a medal for our biggest fan -- our granny.”
Editing by Ed Osmond