Learn from the Best

Meet Our Coaches

Coach shouting encouraging words at athletes

We are proud to have a diverse group of experienced, qualified and passionate coaches who guide our athletes through every step in their progression. Get to know our coaches and their stories below.

All coaches follow a development pathway (Luge and Bobsleigh/Skeleton) as laid out by the national federations.

If you have questions about the BC Sliding Development Centre or want to get in touch with one of our coaches, contact us by email.


Peter Iliev

Head Coach, Luge

Peter is a two-time Olympian, was part of Bulgaria’s national luge team for eleven years, and raced on 15 different tracks, including Whistler’s when he competed here during the Games in 2010. Luge fascinates him because while it is a fun adrenaline sport, it is all about natural laws, g-forces and strength. He loves that the sport teaches athletes respect for teammates and rivals and helps develop athletes’ character and confidence. Luge for him, has always been about sharing experience, knowledge and skills, so after retiring from competition in 2010, he decided to get involved in coaching. As the coach of Bulgaria’s Junior National Team for seven years, he helped athletes qualify for and race at the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi 2014, and he coached athletes for the Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck 2012 and Lillehammer 2016. 

His coaching philosophy is to provide his athletes with all tools to slide successfully in a positive and safe environment. To achieve this, he not only focuses on building athletes’ sliding skills, strength and knowledge around sled maintenance. He also mentors his athletes in developing a true passion for the sport and for achieving their goals and teaches them values like respect, responsibility, resilience, empathy, teamwork and sportsmanship. He also has an interest in research around luge training and analyzing technical parameters of the sport, and he was also involved in designing training facilities such as luge ramps.


Mark Hatton

Coach, Luge

Mark is a 2-time Olympian and has been involved in luge since 1994. Only three years after his first run down an ice track, he became part of the British World Cup team in 1997. He represented Great Britain in the Olympic Winter Games 2002 and 2006. After his retirement in 2007, he moved to Canada to become the Luge Event Manager for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. After the Games, Mark got involved in coaching and, among others, worked with British, Argentinian and South Korean athletes on the Youth Olympic and Olympic level, and has coached beginners ranging from 6-year-olds up to members of the British Armed Forces. He is the Performance Director of the GB Luge Association and Vice President of the BC Luge Association. 

His fascination for luge lies in the speed, excitement, g-forces and athleticism, and the two mindsets that athletes must switch between, being aggressive and fired up for the start, and switching instantly to being relaxed and laser-focused when in track. He loves coaching and sharing a small part of his athletes’ success and pride in achieving their goals, whether it is athletes becoming Olympians or children taking their first run down the track. His philosophy for coaching is straightforward: “Have fun, be on time, be honest with yourself and your coaches, look after your equipment, don’t forget to breathe, be detail oriented (because luge is timed to a thousandth of a second!), learn to communicate effectively. And remember that, occasionally, you just need to forget everything, trust yourself and simply get on the sled and go fast.”

Coach image

Chris Spring

Development Coach, Bobsleigh

Chris has been driving bobsleighs for over 15 years and is a four-time Olympian: In 2010, he represented his native country Australia at the Olympic Winter Games on Whistler’s track, and competed for Canada in Sochi 2014, Pyeongchang 2018 and Beijing 2022. Born in Australia, he discovered bobsleigh at the age of 23 while traveling the world and staying in Calgary on a work visa in 2007. He was immediately hooked, and after attending driving school in Calgary, he started competing on the development circuit in 2007/08. In 2010, he made his Olympic bobsleigh debut on Whistler’s track. In early 2012, Chris experienced a season-ending crash during training in Altenberg/ Germany, but just over ten months later, he was able to return to competition and immediately had his career breakthrough, winning bronze in the 4-man World Cup race in Whistler 2013. At the Olympic Winter Games, Chris and his team have a total of four top-10 finishes, with a best result of 5th in the 2-man race in Sochi 2014. Chris absolutely loves the Whistler track and held several track records over time. After his 4-man bronze medal in 2013, he won gold here in the 2-man World Cups in 2016 and 2017 and placed 4th in the 2-man World Championships race in 2019. While he is still training and competing himself, Chris became the Whistler Sliding Centre’s bobsleigh head coach in the fall of 2022 and continues to pass on his knowledge to young local athletes who want to follow in his footsteps as the next generation of Olympians. He loves teaching and helping grow young athletes on his favourite track.


Joe Cecchini

Head Coach, Skeleton

Joe has been passionate about skeleton since 2006, when he watched the Olympic events in Torino. He represented Canada and Italy internationally, raced on the World Cup circuit for six years, won the national championship twice, and competed at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang. Sharing his love for skeleton and seeing others experience it means everything to him. He became involved in coaching in 2018, primarily to help support development athletes on their pathway to Canada’s national team. His goal as a coach is to create an environment where his athletes learn the fundamentals of the sport safely and with enjoyment while building the confidence and skills needed to become competitive skeleton athletes. He does not believe in showing up at the track and doing runs for the sake of doing runs. Instead, with his comprehensive coaching concept, he wants his athletes to slide with purpose and practice proper techniques to get the most out of every run. Joe is the current head coach for Italy’s national team and has coached athletes from multiple countries at every level, including the World Cup, Youth Olympic Games and Junior World Championships. In December 2021, Joe won the prestigious Bruce Kidd Leadership Award for his contributions to the sport of skeleton in Canada, including innovative training practices and his efforts around recruitment and development.


Micaela Widmer

Coach, Skeleton

Micaela competed internationally from 2006 to 2016, first for Canada, later for Switzerland, up to World Cup and World Championship level. Skeleton allowed her to realize her athletic potential, push her comfort levels and travel the world. It also introduced her to some of her closest friends, and the community spirit and passion for excellence within the sport inspired her right from the start. In 2014, Micaela became involved in coaching with the Alberta Skeleton Association to earn some extra income while still a professional athlete. However, the job quickly turned into a passion. She coached for the Alberta Skeleton Association from 2014 to 2018, was Joe Cecchini’s personal coach for the 2017 & 2019 World Championships, coached Joe’s Snipers Skeleton team since 2018 and coached Canada’s Youth Olympic Games team in January 2020. 

Seeing her athletes push themselves and work through challenges inspires her and keeps her motivated to share her love of skeleton with others. Having fun while staying focused on the tasks ahead is her key to success for skeleton, a philosophy that she passes on to her athletes. She knows the Whistler Sliding Centre well from inside and outside the track and is excited to support the Progression Camps.