ABERCROMBIE – If you talk to Luke Demetre’s parents, they will tell you, he’s always been an adventure seeker.
He was the kind of kid who wanted to go on the fastest and scariest rides at amusement parks.
“I love speed,” he’s quick to admit.
Perhaps it’s not surprising that he’s pursuing a career barrelling down a track at speeds upwards of 150 km/hr as a member of Canada’s national bobsledding team.
As a 20-year-old, Demetre took his first trip down a track and was immediately hooked.
“I always dreamed I’d be doing something like this,” the Abercrombie native says.
Now 22, Demetre is the youngest member of Canada’s national team and the only one from Nova Scotia. He has moved to Calgary to train and from there travels around the world to compete.
Recently he was in Germany. While typically he races with the Canada 3 team, he had the chance to do a couple of runs with the Canada 2 team.
“It went OK,” he said. “The results weren’t as good as we were hoping, but hopefully things will turn around when we go back.”
After spending some time with family over the holidays here in Nova Scotia, he was planning to head to Switzerland for training and then to Germany for more races.
He said the tracks in Europe are a bit different than the ones he’s trained and raced on in North America, so it takes some getting used to.
“The Europeans have a lot more experience because that’s where they learned to drive on,” he said.
With three Canadian teams that compete at the same events, Demetre said there is a mix of camaraderie and competitiveness.
“We’re all hoping each other does really well, but at the same time we want to be the best,” he said.
Demetre’s own personal goal is to make it to the Olympics. If Canada continues to do as well as they have, that may happen as soon as the next year at the games held in Russia.
He said that’s been the goal since he started in the sport and while at times it feels a bit surreal it’s something he had always thought of.
“I really did. I was really hoping to anyway,” he said. “I wanted to get to that level. I wanted to get to the Olympics so this is the right track for this.”
For Pictou County youth who might be interested in pursuing a similar path as his, he offers this advice.
“Train hard and go for it when you get the opportunities,” he said.