Thursday, November 26, 2009

Lumsden finding success off the gridiron

Jesse Lumsden isn't here at this week's Grey Cup, but he's having plenty of sporting success this weekend. Lumsden, the former CIS star with the McMaster Marauders and current Edmonton Eskimos' running back, picked up a gold medal with Canadian legend Pierre Lueders in the two-man bobsled event at the European Cup in Koenigssee, Germany.

This isn't quite as unusual as it sounds. Other athletes in individual team sports have made the transition to Winter Olympics events very successfully, many of them as bobsled brakemen. One example is the man who partnered with Lueders to win a silver medal at the 2006 Olympics, Lascelles Brown. The Jamaican-born Brown (insert Cool Runnings joke here if you like) was a stellar athlete growing up, but he didn't start his bobsled career until 1999. He raced for Jamaica in the 2002 Olympics and then gained Canadian citizenship in time for the 2006 Olympics. Even though he wasn't competing for Jamaica, he became the first Jamaican-born athlete to win a Winter Olympics medal.

The move from football to bobsled isn't an easy transition by any means, but Lumsden has done well so far and is in the running for a place on one of the Canadian Olympic squads in 2010. His CFL impact was limited this year thanks to an early injury, but he's talked about coming back next year. It will be interesting to see if he pursues his dreams in bobsled, football or both.

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