Thursday, February 25, 2010

Turtle Helps Canadian Win Gold Medal in the Olympics

A turtle helped Canadian Jon Montgomery win a gold medal at the 2010 Winter Olympics skeleton gold medal. (Skeleton or tobogganing is fast winter sliding sport in which an individual rides a small sled down a frozen track while lying face down, during which athletes experience forces up to five times the normal force of gravity. It is run run on the same track used by bobsleds and luge, but the skeleton sled has no steering or braking mechanism.)

When he competed in the Olympic event Montgomery had a beautiful turtle design painted on the front of his racing helmet.

According to an article in the Vancouver Sun Montgomery had the design put on his helmet just before coming to the Olympics. The inspiration came after members of the Canadian national team visited with a sport shaman (what American might call a "medicine man") in Revelstoke, British Colombia last September. Among the things the athletes did was find their spirit animal. Montgomery's was the turtle so he had Vancouver native artist Phil Gray design the artwork.

"He accompanies me on my helmet and sled," Montgomery said of the turtle, which is painted in a native theme along with a thunderbird, another prized native symbol.
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