Bobsledder chasing dream
PAIR EVENTUALLY GET TO SPORT
PERTH-raised Lucas Mata and David Mari began down different athletic paths before taking up bobsledding.
The two athletes are now preparing to compete in the Australian bobsled team at the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games, which kicked off on February 9 with the opening ceremony.
The bobsled competition runs from February 15 to 25.
Mata, from Scarborough, was doing 100m sprints and long jump during his school years and for five years after.
A phone call from a friend about the alternate sport put his life on a different path.
“A friend contacted me; he was going to the Sochi Winter Olympics and asked me to give it a go, so I tried it out, tested well and got into the race,” he said.
“It was a whirlwind but I fell in love with it.”
His PyeongChang teammate Mari, from Perth, was drawn to the sport after he injured his ankles pursuing gymnastics and basketball.
“I was playing in Perth for the Redbacks (in the SBL) but I was forced to stop,” he said.
“It became difficult to do side-to-side movement but the linear movement of bobsledding was easier on the ankles.
“I ended up training in the same group as Luca and was recruited from there.”
Australian Winter Olympics bobsled team members Lachlan Reidy, Lucas Mata, David Mari and Hayden Smith.