It made for an interesting story at the end of the season – Jesse Lumsden trying out with the Canadian bobsleigh team in Whistler – but one gets the impression that Olympic champion driver Pierre Lueders isn’t waiting with bated breath for the CFLer’s return for the 2010 Winter Games.
It’s still a longshot that it will happen. Firstly, Lumsden has to make it through a full season without injury as a running back with the Edmonton Eskimos, something that’s been a struggle in the past. Then, he’s got to have enough energy left to do it. Plus, there’s still the fact he’s inexperienced as a slider.
“For all those guys, they have their seasons to go through,” said Lueders in a recent phone interview. “When they’re done doing what they’re doing, they may be tired or worn out. Who knows?
“I can’t really comment on that because I don’t do two sports, I don’t do a summer sport. I guess from my understanding the ball’s in their court and it’s whether or not they want to pursue it any further.”
Lueders makes it clear he won’t be lobbying these athletes.
“And I’m certainly not, just so you know – and you can write it, too, I don’t care – but I’m certainly not going to be actively pestering these athletes when they’re busy doing what they’re doing,” he said.
“I made it very clear to all of them that they don’t have to worry about me phoning every week – that’s certainly not going to happen. And I know the program isn’t, either.” Lueders said he doesn’t expect to follow the games on TV, either.
“I used to watch CFL games and such when I was little, but I really haven’t in years and I don’t think I will much more this year. Maybe, during the Labour Day Game or something, but other than that probably not. I’m not a big football follower. More of a hockey follower.”
Still, recruiting Lumsden was a definite coup for Matt Hindle, who's still out there combing the country for prospects. The biggest benefit of the new recruits to the program is it will put more fire in the belly of the incumbents, something Lueders has made a point of saying is needed after a less than stellar pre-Olympic season.
“I think that will take care of itself with knowing that there’s other athletes that are potentially going to be involved," he said. "That in itself should spur some motivation. The goal of any program is to have the best athletes pushing one another to make everybody stronger.”