Local skeleton athlete perfects skills

Sliding down a hill in winter time is something most Canadian kids still do at some point in their lives but very few get to reach speeds of more than 100 km/h .

For 16-year-old Jeremiah Huo of Red Deer, that is the number he passes when sliding down the track on his skeleton sled.

“My best (speed) was about 118 kilometres,” he said. “It actually feels like nothing after you do it for awhile.”

He was down in Calgary looking to try out for the bob sled racing but he was too young for that so skeleton was his next choice and he doesn’t regret it one bit.

“So I took a few practice runs in the ice house which is just a mini hill with ice and I practiced that and I was like, why not try the real thing?”

The speed factor was a big influence for him to stick with the sport which he says is very technical, requiring some mental strength as well as the physical aspect.

He says watching other competitors is a good way to get better as you see how they handle the track but you also have to stay healthy to compete.

“We are going so fast and there’s so much pressure, so much force on your body, some days you think you can go for another run down the hill and you do it and get a giant migraine,” he said. “You’ve just got to listen to what your body is saying so you don’t hurt yourself.”

He really likes training on the track at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary with Alberta Skelton members because of what it offers the athletes.

“Our track is very technical compared to Whistler so it’s a really good development track to just in general learn different pressures and just learning about corners,” he said. “It’s a good starting track.”

He was involved in a provincial race at the beginning of March in Calgary and placed 9th overall in what was his seventh race of his young career.

“It was actually surprisingly pretty good. It was a pretty good day and it was almost my best.”

Looking down the road Jeremiah says making it to the Olympics would be great but the immediate goal is a little more within his reach.

“In a couple of years it’s just to go to different tracks in North America and try to race against other guys in North America first,” he said.