New Glasgow native, Olympian receives warm welcome home
NEW GLASGOW – He knew to make a run in Sochi that something would have to happen to open up a spot on the sled – when that happened the last thought on Luke Demetre’s mind was getting to race.
The Canada 3 sled accident on the second last day of the Winter Olympics was devastating to the Canadian mens bobsleigh team’s chances to be competitive, but as Demetre (alternate) ran down the track he just wanted everyone to be alright.
“First of all I was concerned about the team,” he said prior to his welcome home event last night at the Pictou County Wellness Centre. “We ran down there and made sure everybody was okay. That was my main concern. I wanted them to all be okay and everything to work out. It was a secondary thought after everything was over that me and the other spare would be able to slide. It was great when we got the opportunity, but I feel bad for the guys because they were having a fantastic run before that.”
It’s not a storybook ending, but with that accident came his opportunity to make history by becoming the first Nova Scotian bobsled competitor in the history of the Olympics.
“I got quite a few messages saying ‘I seen you on TV,’ ‘I can’t believe you made it to the Olympics’ and stuff like that,” said Demetre. “It was just a great honour to be there and see all the support that actually came from back home and the people I met along the way.”
That wasn’t the end of the support or excitement. Since arriving home in Canada and then to New Glasgow this week it opened his eyes to just how much people have been cheering him on and supporting him.
“Yeah it’s absolutely incredible to get all the support,” he said. “It’s awesome all the support we’re getting. I didn’t realize there was this much recognition back home, but it’s absolutely incredible to be back home. This is where I grew up, so it’s great to share this with everybody.
“It makes me very happy to be from where I am. It’s great to be from New Glasgow and the Pictou County area. Seeing all these people give me all the support is absolutely incredible. “
As one of the youngest members of the Canadian mens bobsleigh teams at 23-years-old he has a great chance of competing at the 2018 Winter Olympics, rather than being an alternate. With funding from Elevate, Support 4 Sport and other organizations he knows his focus won’t be on being able to afford to train, but simply putting in the effort and time.
“It’s going to make me work just as hard as I was before,” he said. “I gave it my all coming into this one, so I’ll give it my all coming into the next one. I just need to keep my head down, work hard and be the best I can be.”
On Twitter: @NGNewsChris