Bascue seventh in Austria

C odie Bascue’s pursuit of a gold medal came up short as he and teammate Jake Peterson finished seventh in the two-man bobsled event of the inaugural Winter Youth Olympics, held in Igls, Austria.

One of only two North American teams entered in the event, Bascue and Peterson gave it their best effort, finishing with a two-run total of 1:49.65, but fell short of gold by a very cruel half second.

Bascue, who called Sunday’s race the biggest of his life, was disappointed with how the race turned out, but relished the opportunity to compete in the games calling it an experience of a lifetime.

“It was an incredible experience. If I could do it again, I definitely would. It’s like nothing I’ve ever experienced before,” he said.

The Italian team of Patrick Baumgartner and Alessandro Grande were crowned Youth Olympic Champions after coming from behind to snag the gold medal with a time of 1:49.14.

The Italians were considered out of the medal hunt after finishing in fourth place after one run but the pair posted the fastest run of the competition (54.31) in their second heat to take gold by .09 seconds.

Benjamin Maier and Robert Ofensberger representing host nationAustria, won the silver with a time of 1:49.23 and Monacans Rudy Rinaldo and Jeremy Torre won the bronze with a time of 1:49.31.

Given only eight training runs to learn the track at Olympic Sliding Centre Innsbruck, Bascue and Peterson had some minor troubles with the course leading up to the event and finished the first heat in a time of 54.98 seconds.

However, the tandem exorcised their demons with a near perfect second heat as they finished with a blistering 54.67 seconds.

The duo actually lost ground to their competitors with a slow start, but Bascue picked up two places, navigating turn nine-a problem spot coming into the race-to perfection.

“I’ve had trouble with curve nine all week, but I was happy with the second run,” Bascue said.

Craig Bascue, Codie’s father, described the second run as flawless and Darrin Steele, Chief Executive Officer of the U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation was pleased with how the team performed and excited for their future.

“We are really proud of Codie and Jake for being such wonderful representatives of our country at the Youth Olympic Games,” he said. “They swept the qualification races to earn their spot, and we are very excited to see these two talented athletes progress. They add depth to our growing program, and I expect we’ll hear a lot more about Codie and Jake in years to come.”

Bascue will have little time to reflect on the games.

He will remain inAustriafor several more dates where he will compete in the Jr. World Championships.

Following a few days of rest and relaxation after he returns stateside, Bascue will be a forerunner, testing the track for the best competitors in the world during the World Championships, held Feb. 17 in Lake Placid and will finish his season competing in the America’s Cup series in March.

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