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  • Writer's pictureMackenzie Stewart

Look Out I'm Driving

Well this season started late and due to covid had limited racing opportunity, but I’m excited to fill you all in on an amazing opportunity that was presented to me as a result of not traveling and competing. I have officially jumped into the front seat, and gotten a taste of what it is like to drive! I have been in whistler learning how to drive for five weeks now and have another week to go. It has been one of the most amazing and crazy experiences of my life. I thought being a brakewoman was a rush but being in the front is a whole different level. I won’t lie I was scared outta my mind the first couple runs down the track… I blacked them out completely, couldn’t tell you anything that happened. Over the course of the first week the track started to slow down, or maybe my brain finally started to speed up. Either way things started making a lot more sense, or so I thought. Moving into week two I started to think I was finished the track before I had crossed the finish line. There is a term we use in bobsled and its called a “victory roll” this is used when you roll or “crash” out of the last corner before you cross the finish line. It is a fairly harmless crash just annoying and uncomfortable. Some how I managed to victory roll 4 out of 9 runs and I was so confused as to why I couldn’t figure it out. To rub a little more dirt in my already bruised ego our coach told me that he didn’t know what I was doing because it was nearly impossible to victory roll when starting from corner 7 and no one he had ever taught had done it. I would just like to clarify though that it is not nearly impossible as I had almost made it occur 50% of the time.

Don’t worry though, I eventually figured it out and am making it down from corner 3, meaning hopefully we will be bombing it off the top soon. Something about bobsled makes me excited and nervous at the same time, and the amount of butterflies I have going into every session is unreal. I thought one day I would get used to them but that doesn’t seem to be the case which I kinda like, it means bobsled will hopefully never get boring.

Bobsled Canada sent out 6 athletes to learn how to drive, in hopes of having a next generation of pilots for 2026. We are living in the whistler athletes centre, which is basically dorms and we have a great cook who makes us amazing meals everyday! Due to covid we are literally living on top of each other, as we have to stay in our bubble to insure less chance of contracting covid so we can continue to train. This doesn’t sound that bad but when you have to be in the same space as your team mates 24/7 you start to go little insane. Sometimes I forget they aren’t my siblings and start treating them like family, we bicker, yell, laugh, cry, and as much as we have come to care about each other we all have our moments of wanting to kill one another. I know everyone knows this feeling especially through this pandemic… It’s a LOVE/HATE kinda relationship, only everyday I have to trust one of them enough to get in the back of their sled, and vice versa so we can continue to learn how to drive. I couldn’t have asked for a better group of people to go through this with though, everyone is all in and wants to make the most of it. We all believe in one another and know that as a group we can have fun and always find the positives, like making it out in one piece…

All jokes aside though this has been an amazing opportunity, and I have made some of the most amazing friendships, that I know will be with me through my bobsled career and even after sport.

I hope you are all staying healthy and sane,

sending smiles and hugs to you all!

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