by John Austen
Giulio Zardo is becoming quite the celebrity at Concordia and in his
Montreal neighbourhood. The 22-year-old leisure sciences student is often
recognized and congratulated for his success as a world class bobsledder.
And why not? After all, the Canadian team of Zardo and pilot Pierre Lueders
finished second in the World Cup standings, the first time Lueders, a
former Olympic champion, had reached the World Cup podium since 1996.
The pair also finished fifth at the Salt Lake City Olympics, just a few
hundredths of a second out of second spot.
Pretty impressive results since just two years ago Zardo, an ex football
player, had barely even heard of the sport.
Well, Id seen Cool Runnings (the movie) like everyone else,
he laughed, but my life was basically playing football and training.
I was hoping for a U.S. scholarship. Then things kinda changed.
The something different was a chance to become a member of
Canadas National Bobsled team. Zardo decided to give it a shot,
and seven months later came within a hair of winning an Olympic medal
As a brakeman, Zardo is responsible for giving the sled an explosive,
fast and powerful start. Then its up to Lueders to guide the sled
down the track at speeds of more than 130 kilometres per hour.
Its hard to describe the feeling of exploding at the start
and then going down the track at this level, Zardo said. Its
such a rush.
Finishing second at the Worlds will only make us work harder for