Calgary’s Elisabeth Maier slide into seventh in her first race back following a one-year maternity leave at a skeleton World Cup event on Friday, in Innsbruck, Austria.
From the start, Maier showed little rust—coming within a few-hundreds of a second to equalling her all-time best.
However, heavy snows forced organizers to wipe out the first-heat results entirely and base the 20-competitor event solely on the second-run.
Shaking off any early jitters, Maier, who was sixth after the first run, once again fearlessly blasted down the track, securing seventh with a time of 54.52 seconds.
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“What a race designed for 2020,” said Maier after the event. “I am so thankful to be racing again though because this time last year I didn’t know if I would ever race again. To be on the start line was very exciting to be back and doing it for mamas.”
Maier, 26, has racked up 10 World Cup medals in her career. Eager to improve upon her ninth place finish in Pyeongchang, Maier will be back on the start line in Austria next week.
Russia’s Elena Nikitina slid to the top of the podium with a time of 53.74. Kimberley Bos, of The Netherlands, was second at 54.02. Germany’s Tina Hermann rounded out the podium in third place at 54.19.
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“These girls are good – the best in the world. I’m honoured to be back competing with them but I am hungry for so much more,” said Maier who along with her husband (bobsleigh athlete Ben Maier) lives in Austria with her young family.
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