World Cup winner Phipps dies age 72

World Cup winner Phipps dies age 72

The British Bobsleigh & Skeleton Association is saddened to hear of the death of Nick Phipps (pictured, R), one of this country’s most successful bobsledders.

Phipps was a double Olympian and both an individual and overall World Cup medalist who set standards that today’s teams continue to aspire to. He died at the age of 72 on Wednesday, April 24th and is survived by his wife Claire, sons Daniel and Jack and daughters Olivia and Melissa.

He represented Great Britain for more than a decade, making his first Olympic appearance in Lake Placid in 1980, before travelling to, but not competing in, Calgary in 1988 and retiring after his third Games in Albertville in 1992.

A 2-man and 4-man pilot, Phipps finished 15th in the 4-man event in Placid and 13th in both the 2 and 4-man disciplines in Albertville.

He enjoyed great success on the international circuit, winning Overall World Cup bronze in the combined event in the 1985/86 season. Until Brad Hall finished third in 2022/23, only one other GB men’s pilot (Mark Tout) had matched Phipps’ feat.

Phipps also won silver in the Overall 2-man and Overall 4-man competitions in 1985, although those events are classified as ‘unofficial’ prior to a listed start date of 1991 for the single discipline Overall World Cup competitions. Winning World Cup silver in the 4-man at the Veltins Cup in Winterberg in 1984 was another of his standout achievements.

His World Cup gold with Alan Cearns in Cortina d’ Ampezzo in December 1985, setting a new track record which stands to this very day, remains the only time GB have won a 2-man World Cup race. Hall has come close with six silvers in the past three years but Phipps’ remarkable record is now on the brink of stretching into a phenomenal 40th year.

“We are deeply saddened to hear of the death of Nick Phipps,” said Gareth Moore, Chair of the BBSA. 

“Nick leaves a lasting legacy within bobsleigh in Great Britain, having set standards that others still look to follow. His results in British colours were outstanding and they are still referenced today, more than three decades on from his retirement.

“The fact that he still showed a real interest in the GB teams and offered his congratulations whenever they achieved similar success to his own speaks volumes, as do the heartfelt comments made by former team mates since his passing. 

“Our condolences to Nick’s family and friends and also to the colleagues who had the pleasure of competing alongside him throughout his time as a bobsledder.”

Nick Phipps WC 87 St Moritz70

Nick Phipps enjoyed a truly outstanding bobsleigh career