The tiny village of Naalehu, Hawaii _ population roughly 880 _ bills itself as the home of the southernmost bakery, bar, church and post office in the United States.

It's also the birthplace of Canada's latest Olympic bobsled champion.

Justin Kripps, the pilot of the Canadian two-man sled that shared gold with Germany earlier in these Pyeongchang Games, holds passports from the U.S., Australia and Canada. His parents still spend their winters in Hawaii, and Kripps says he to this day has fond recollections of his years spent there as a child.

"We'll claim him as our own," U.S. bobsledder Nick Cunningham said.

Cunningham was kidding, and let's be clear: Kripps identifies with only one team.

"I've come up through the Canadian sport system," Kripps said, "and I'm Team Canada down to the soul."



He'll try for more gold starting Saturday, when four-man bobsledding _ the final sliding event in Pyeongchang _ gets underway. Medals will be won on Sunday.

It has been a hectic and emotional few days for Kripps. His maternal grandmother died in Australia on Feb. 12, and Kripps is hoping to get there for her memorial service next month. Winning gold meant he had a media frenzy to face in Pyeongchang, and when these Olympics end he's scheduled to return to his home base in Calgary, Alberta for sled testing and other responsibilities.

His backstory makes him more unique than the gold medal does. Besides time in the U.S., Canada and Australia _ his parents are aid workers _ he has also lived in Thailand and Cambodia.

"Little pieces of each country I grew up in, I take that with me and it's part of my personality and who I am," Kripps said. "It's always special to see the Hawaiian island news do a story about me. I'm from a really, really small town there. Nobody knows what bobsleigh is there, but it's cool."

Does Naalehu know sliding now?

"I think they might," Kripps said.