Two wines from Dirty Laundry Vineyard pay tribute to Justin Kripps, an Olympic gold medalist bobsleigh athlete from Summerland.
On Friday evening, the winery introduced the new wines, a chardonnay and a rosé, both bearing the name Victorious, in honour of Kripps’ accomplishment.
Earlier this year, at the 2018 Winter Olympics at PyeongChang, South Korea, Kripps and Alexander Kopacz won gold in the two-man bobsleigh competition.
Their total time of 3:16.86 in four heats tied them with a German team, while a Latvian team took bronze.
Bob Campbell, president of Dirty Laundry, described Kripps’ gold medal tie as “an incredible accomplishment for a Summerland athlete.”
In addition to the Victorious wines, Campbell also presented Kripps with a membership in the Bordello Club, Dirty Laundry’s wine club.
As well, a row of grapes at the vineyard bears Kripps’ name.
Kripps, who was born in Hawaii, grew up in Summerland and attended elementary, middle and high school in the community.
In high school he was a track and field athlete and after graduating, he attended Simon Fraser University on a track and field scholarship.
While there, he was scouted by the Canadian bobsleigh team and advanced in that sport.
He became Canada’s top brakeman and competed in that role in the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver and after that season, trained to become a bobsleigh pilot.
“He showed the world he was the best bobsleigh pilot in the two-man event,” Campbell said.
Mayor Peter Waterman also praised Kripps for his Olympic accomplishment
“Justin’s performance could not have been more exciting,” he said. “We were proud of what you achieved.”
Kripps was at the winery as the wines were introduced.
“Nobody’s ever named a wine after me before,” he said.
He added that he has been training in his sport for the past 12 years.
At the Winter Olympics at PyeongChang, he felt calm at the starting line, knowing he had the support of the community.
“I was going to be happy no matter what the position on the clock,” he said.
After his final run, when he saw he was in first place, “it was just this crazy feeling of accomplishment,” he said.