By Charlie Senack, Barrhaven Independent
A Barrhaven native will be representing team Canada at the 2022 Olympics in Beijing.
Mike Evelyn who will be competing on Canada’s bobsledding team first got the itch for sports after starting to play hockey at a young age. The now 28-year-old started playing for the Nepean Raiders in 2008, and then switched back and forth between other teams before moving to Halifax in 2014. Once there he joined the Dalhousie Tigers for five seasons and played more than 125 games. Evelyn graduated from Dalhousie University with a Bachelor of Engineering.
The John McCrae High School graduate attended a RBC Training Ground event in 2018 with the hopes of being given a chance in any sport. The Canadian National Bobsleigh Team saw potential in the Barrhaven native, and recruited him soon after. He then attended pilot school in Calgary.
Evelyn officially joined the Canadian team in the fall of 2019.
During the 2021 Europe Cup which took place in Altenberg, Germany, Evelyn came home with a gold medal in the four men competition, and a silver medal in the two men competition. Two years before in 2019, Evelyn won a gold medal after taking part in a four men competition at the 2019 North American Cup, which took place in Park City, Utah.
According to the official Olympics Canada website: “Evelyn made his IBSF World Cup debut in January 2021 as the Canadian bobsleigh team travelled to Europe for just the second half of the 2020-21 season because of the COVID-19 pandemic. He competed in three two-man and three four-man races with pilot Christopher Spring, recording two top-10 finishes. At his first IBSF World Championships in 2021, he finished ninth in the two-man with Spring, ranking them as the top Canadians in the event. During the 2021-22 season, Evelyn came close to his first World Cup medals as he and Spring finished fourth in a pair of races in Altenberg in December.”
It’s these accomplishments which led Evelyn to the Olympics.
Evelyn, who stands at 6.3 feet and weighs about 230 lbs, credits his weight and size for success in the sport. He also has a passion for motorcycles, and compares the rush on the track to vrooming down the street.
While growing up in Barrhaven, Evelyn said one of his favourite movies to watch was Cool Runnings, which is about the first ever Jamaican Bobsled team. After watching the movie over 15 times, he’s now getting to experience that rush firsthand.
Evelyn has spent the last season in Canada’s number two four-man sled on the World Cup alongside veteran pilot Chris Spring, Samuel Giguere, and Cody Sorensen. According to Dalhousie University, “the sled has consistently finished in the top 15 all year highlighted by a season-best eighth place finish in Winterberg, Germany.”
Evelyn has a chance to walk in the opening ceremony at the Beijing Olympics. Heats 1 and 2 of the four-man event will get underway on February 18th at 21:30 AST. Heats 3 and 4 will be February 19th at 21:30 AST. You can watch the race on CBC.