Fast track to the Olympics

One of Castlegar’s sons is literally on a fast track to the Olympics.

Adam Anderson, son of Loren and Kathi Anderson of Castlegar, is hoping his bobsleigh team can earn enough points during the America Cup Circuit to qualify a third sled for the Games.

“We need to do the circuit. We should know by January,” explained Anderson.

Anderson, who was born in Nelson and raised in Castlegar first realized his passion for the sport after taking an ABA driving school just over three years ago.

“It’s not a sport you see on TV. I thought it sounded interesting and I told myself I was going to give it a try,” said Anderson.

That led Anderson to participate in a bobsled camp.

He was hooked.

His love for the sport translated into hard work and success, and so it’s no surprise that last year Anderson made the America’s Cup where he gained even more experience on some of the world’s best tracks.

That experience and commitment to the sport led him to being the youngest bobsled pilot on the Canadian men’s team.

“I started the sport young and the coaches see a lot of promise in me. The oldest pilot on the Canadian team is 39, so I have lots of years ahead of me,” said Anderson.

Unlike other sports, that promise can grow and won’t be stopped short as is typical in other sports with short career spans such as hockey.

A former hockey player, Anderson said he realized early on he wasn’t going to reach greatness in that sport and if, by chance he did, he knew that his best years in hockey would likely happen before he turned 30.

“It didn’t take me long to realize that I was never going to be a star in hockey and that, for the most part, my career would be over at a young age.”

Anderson fully believes that commitment and hard work are the keys to success, especially when it comes to the Olympics.

While hopeful that his team will make it to the 2010 Olympics, Anderson said if he didn’t, it wouldn’t deter him.

“I wouldn’t be disappointed if I didn’t make the Olympics at 23. There are lots of years ahead of me as well. Every year, I try to do better than the last,” he explained.

Being an Olympian costs money in Canada, where athletes are responsible for the bulk of their expenses and Anderson and his team have come up with a novel way to raise the $80,000 needed to compete.

Some friends from Whistler, Paul and Tayla Shore, wrote Bobsleigh Jellybeans, a children’s book which Anderson says teaches children about friendship, teamwork and doing their best. Team member, Chris Ripley, an artist when not competing, illustrated the book.

All proceeds from the sale of the book go towards team expenses and is available on the internet at http://www.bobsleighjellybeans.com/

Anderson currently lives in Calgary and is a reservist in the Canadian Forces Calgary Highlanders.

His other team members includeHugh Baker, Bobby Staniford and Kent Brun.

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