Olympic Bobsledder, Bobsleigh Canada
Tell us about you! How did you get into sport? Where are you from? What is your story?
I grew up on the east coast of Australia and lived a very stereotypical Aussie childhood. I spent days on end at the beach, learning to surf and played traditional Australian sports like Aussie rules football, rugby and cricket.
In 2006, I moved to Canada on what was meant to be a 1 year working visa. Having never seen snow and knowing nothing about bobsledding, it's funny that I ended up competing for Canada as a winter sport athlete.
I came into the sport in a very non-traditional way. Most athletes are recruited from other sports, but for me I found myself at the bobsled track in Calgary just over 15 years ago watching race and got to chatting to some of the spectators. I was intrigued and wanted to know more about the sport, and a week later I found myself in the back of a sled. What I love about the sport is that perfection is almost impossible. And so there is this constant Drive or constant will for me to always be improving and striving for that perfect run down the track.
What is a fun fact about you or something not many people know about you?
I'm half Filipino and even though I compete for Canada, I was born in Australia and grew up there until the age of 21
What has been your biggest struggle throughout your career? How have you dealt with or overcome that?
I struggled for a long time with being afraid. I had a fear of driving my sled, a fear of injuring my teammates, and a fear of not being successful. For years and years this fear hovered over me and it almost consumed me. And then one day I realized that I was a better driver than I ever had been. And I attribute that to being afraid. Because there is no courage without fear, and the fear forced me to study tracks more, prepare better, understand my equipment better, and in turn made me a better athlete. And so now when I am afraid, I invite that feeling in because I know how much it helps me.
Injury is a part of life, and sport - how did you deal with yours?
Recovering from injury is always difficult but it provides a great lesson for other parts of my life. Knowing that I need to be patient, and perhaps do a lot of boring work in order to recover back to 100% is easier on my mind knowing that I can use those skills in my everyday life as well. If you want something bad enough, then usually the reward requires a lot of hard work and I'm no stranger to that in sport and in life.
What’s your favourite pre/post sweat snack? Your must have treat?
My fav post sweat snack is eggs. I can eat eggs any time of the day so it doesn't matter if it's a morning or evening workout, I like to follow up with an omelette or a "breakfast sandwich" My must have treat. Dark chocolate with nuts. The darker and nuttier the better.
Do you have any pre-competition rituals?
I try to keep any pre race rituals to a minimum. But I do like to warm up to some chill music like Ben Howard. He always puts me in a good head space and makes me smile.
What gets you most excited about being a part of the Stoko Ambassador program?
The ambassador program and the Stoko company bring a feeling of being part of a family and that's really special. To have this community supporting me is awesome.
I've been so fortunate to have had the longevity in the sport to be able to accomplish a lot of my goals. Most people would look at my career and say the highlights are the 4 Olympic games I've competed at or the world cup wins and medals. But for me, the highlight has been being able to live an athlete life for the past 15 years. Travelling to beautiful places and competing for Canada, plus making lifelong friends along the way is my biggest career highlight.
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