Melissa Lotholz was on top of her game this past weekend at a World Cup Monobob race in Igls, Austria.
Lotholz rocketed a two run time of 1:51.22 on the 14 corner track and with it she went into the record books.
The 28-year-old became the first Canadian to win a medal in the newly-created Women’s Monobob World Series at the World Cup level.
Lotholz says it was a thrill to stand on the podium.
“Obviously (I'm) super-ecstatic to medal at this level of competition,”Lotholz said.
“It was actually my first medal as a pilot at this level of competition as well so it was very special.”
Lotholz is no stranger to the World Cup podium. She’s won plenty of medals as a world class brakeman for Kaillie Humphries and Christine Debruin.
Lotholz says she made the switch to Monobob because she wanted to become a pilot.
“I love the challenge of driving and I think as a brakeman I had gotten to the point where I was very efficient and proficient at what I did," she said. "Just getting to have that extra challenge as a drive like really pushed me forward.”
Monobob is just like bobsleigh except it’s a lone woman who pushes and drives the standardized sled.
Lotholz says it can be a challenge and it tests your driving skills.
“I’ve been telling people it’s kind of like driving an unloaded pickup truck on ice. Your back end wants to spin out a little extra because you don’t have the extra traction,” she said.
Lotholz says Monobob is challenging even the most seasoned pilots who are used to going down the track with a brakeman.
It’s a new discipline they’re all trying to learn together. The good thing for Lotholz and the rest of the pilots is Women’s Monobob is going to be added to the 2022 Winter Olympics in Bejing, China.
Lotholz is excited about that.
“The next Olympics is the first time that Monbob is going to be added to the games. It’s the first opportunity that women have to compete in two events in our sport," Lotholz said. " And so it’s exciting to be growing with the sport as a driver.”
Lotholz will take this weekend off but she’ll be back in the sled the following weekend for another World Cup Monobob World series event in St. Moritz, Switzerland.