Jon MONTGOMERY is preparing to embark on the road to the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, developing his own sled and helping save Canada's wetlands.
These are fast times for the native of Russell who won the gold medal in men's skeleton racing at the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver. Montgomery plans to defend his gold medal in Sochi and he'll do it with state-of-the-art equipment he has helped to develop.
Montgomery took last season off from international competition to focus on training and developing the sled he'll use when he is back on the track on Oct. 20-21 in Calgary for the first of three Canadian national team selection events. He will be using one of the three prototype sleds he has developed with the Calgary-based company Standens, a manufacturer and distributor of industrial, automotive and agriculture machinery and products.
"We're sliding next week," Montgomery said Wednesday in a telephone interview from Calgary where he will be unveiled today as the Ducks Unlimited Canada ambassador for the Year of the Conservation Champion project.
"I need to do everything within my power to make sure that when I am standing at the start line in Sochi in 2014... that I'm doing so knowing that I've taken control of every aspect of my training and my development so I can execute my game plan and have no regrets," said Montgomery.
Montgomery said he wants a sled customized to respond to his own driving style.
"You need the best equipment possible to achieve lofty goals and if you can't find it, you have to create it," he said. "There's a level of responsiveness that I was looking for (in a sled) and that's what I'm trying to create and whether the results that I'm looking for come to fruition (while using the new sled) is yet to be determined."
Montgomery will also work this winter the Ducks Unlimited project which is designed to encourage people -- especially youth -- to get outdoors to take advantage of Canada's wetlands as Montgomery did when he was a youngster.
"Growing up in Russell, I learned to skate on an outdoor pond on the edge of town which is now a DU wetland project. So it's come full circle for me, really," said Montgomery.