Rasmussen looks to continue winning ways in Lake Placid

50-year-old Christ Rasmussen is currently ranked eighth in the world in the Para-Bobsleigh rankings, and will represent Team USA this weekend in Lake Placid at the IBSF World Championships. (Enterprise photo — Justin A. Levine)

LAKE PLACID — Christ Rasmussen has had a pretty good World Cup season in para-bobsledding, earning multiple trips to the podium as the series made its way around the world this winter. And now, with the season wrapping up with the IBSF Para Sport World Championships in Lake Placid this weekend, Rasmussen is looking to continue his winning ways.

Ranked eighth in the world, Rasmussen won three bronze medals this winter despite missing a pair of races in Park City early on.

A former biathlete, Rasmussen began his bobsledding career in Lake Placid just about a year and a half ago, in the fall of 2017.

“When I came here, they took us up to the top of the track. And I was very interested (and) they had it plastered all over the place that they’d have a parabobsled race on Dec. 1 (2017),” the bearded 50-year-old said in the lobby of the Olympic Training Center. “So I got selected to come to the (tryout) camp. I did the camp well, and my first competition was for the third spot on Team USA.”

Rasmussen said his first two races were rough, and he finished near the back of the pack. His next races were considerably better, though, and resulted in a third-place finish in Oberhof, Germany. That led to his selection to Team USA for the 2018 World Championships.

Rasmussen missed the first two races of the World Cup season because he didn’t make weight and had a rib injury. But the rest of the season panned out well, including the three bronzes and another top-10 finish, his worst finishes — 14th and 16th — came in Lillehammer.

“Lillehammer is my nemesis track from World Championships,” he said. “I was doing pretty good and then it came to race day, it fall fell apart. I had to try and regain my composure to salvage what I could.”

Rasmussen had a rough next race in Oberhof, but bounced back a week later and finished in the top-10.

“The first day went horribly wrong, and I said ‘Let me revert back to what I did last year,’ and I finished sixth,” he said. “For me, when I learned that I was going to make the World Championships, it was just focus. I started training differently for World Championships since I knew it was going to be at my home track.”

The Battle Creek, Michigan resident said he hopes the championships will run from start one at the top of the Van Ho track, rather than one of the lower starts. Rasmussen said that although Lake Placid is his home track, he doesn’t feel like he has an advantage

“I feel really good. If we’re able to, we’ll be going down from the top, which is a first-ever for para-athletes here at Lake Placid,” he said. “So to be part of that is amazing. But it now requires a lot more focus and training and more attention to detail because it’s a technical track.

“Because it’s my home track, I might have five more minutes time (on the track) than everybody else does, but they have the years of experience,” he said. “So most of the major athletes have from three to four years.

“But my hopes for the weekend are to take home a gold for Team USA.”

Racing starts at 10 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday at Mount Van Hoevenberg. Admission costs $9 for adults and teens and $7 for juniors and seniors. Children six and under receive free admission.