Alex Kopacz

Canadian bobsledder and the reigning Olympic Gold Medalist in two-man bobsleigh
Alex Kopacz
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Alex Kopacz

Alexander Kopacz?is aCanadian?bobsledder?and the reigning Olympic co-champion in the two-man bobsleigh event and 7x World Cup medalist. He competed in the?two-man event?at the?2018 Winter Olympics.Kopacz and pilot?Justin Kripps?tied with the German team of?Francesco Friedrich?and?Thorsten Margis?forthe gold medal.?

Kopacz started his sporting career as a varsity level?shot putter?at?University of Western Ontario?in London, Ontario. With encouragement from his university coaches he attended a Canadian talent ID camp for bobsleigh athletes in April 2013. Kopacz would start racing later that year with?Nick Poloniato?on the North American race circuit. The next year he competed with?Chris Spring?in the?2014–15 Bobsleigh World Cup, his first year in the top level circuit.?At the?2015 World Championships?Kopacz battled through?pneumonia?to help push Spring to eighth place in the four-man bobsled.?After that season he sought out the guidance of 2x Olympic Gold medalist?Olaf Hampel, moved to Germany, learned the language and became a force to be reckoned with for his following season. He stepped on the podium for the first time at the World Cup event in?Lake Placid, New York, as part of?Justin Kripps 'four-man team.?

During the?2016–17Bobsleigh World Cup?Kopacz missed the first half of the season due to an?adductor?tear. He would return to the World Championships, again pushing Kripps to a sixth-place finish in the four-man. The next season he and Kripps found their groove, they would earn four podium finishes together in the?2016–17 Bobsleigh World Cup?and finish first overall in the World Cup to win the Crystal Globe as overall World Cup champions.

They would carry this momentum into the?2018 Winter Olympics?in?Pyeongchang,?South Korea. In the two-man competition he pushed Kripps two second place through the first two of four runs. In the second day of competition, they were in the lead after three runs. In the fourth and final run they were just a few one hundredths behind?Francesco Friedrich?of?Germany, but in the final run they made up enough time to win gold. In fact the run put them in a tie with Friedrich for the top of the podium. Kripps and Kopacz began celebrating with the team, family, and friends. Kopacz said of the gold medal that "within a couple minutes it was a sea of emotion, a sea of teammates and tears from my parents."?

He completed his mechanical engineering degree and physics degree at?University ofWestern Ontario?in 2013 and 2018 respectively.