CBC Digital Archives

Pierre Lueders, passionate bobsledder

Bobsled has its roots in the toboggans that have slid down snowy hillsides the world over. But the addition of a steering mechanism and a steep, twisty track transformed the pastime into a thrilling winter sport, with sledders reaching 128 kilometres an hour and finishes separated by mere hundredths of a second. From Canada's first Olympic gold in 1964 to Pierre Lueders's quest for two more medals in 2010, CBC Digital Archives looks at some of the highlights of Canada's long history with the bobsled.

media clip
"He's famous for his fiery temper, his moods and his ego," says CBC reporter Mark Connolly. With the 1994 Winter Olympics less than a week away, Connolly is profiling Pierre Lueders, one of Canada's top bobsledders and possibly the country's best chance at Olympic gold in Lillehammer, Norway. What makes Lueders stand out among other bobsledders? His intensity and passion for the sport, says teammate Dave MacEachern: "He loves bobsleigh. This is his life."
• Pierre Lueders was born in Edmonton on Sept. 26, 1970.
• Despite the high hopes expressed in this clip, Lueders did not win a medal at the 1994 Olympics. Four years later, however, he did win Canada's first bobsledding Olympic medal since 1964. At the 1998 Olympics in Nagano, Japan, Lueders and his teammate Dave MacEachern tied for gold with Italy in the two-man bobsleigh event.  

• Lueders also won a silver medal in the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy. This was for the two-man bobsleigh event as well, but this time his partner was Lascelles Brown.

• An October 2009 National Post article discussed Lueders's fiery reputation, and how he had mellowed somewhat since the 1990s (although not completely): "His friends say this is a calmer, more thoughtful version of the self-professed 'wildfire burning out of control' that has battled with sports officials, politicians and even teammates throughout a stellar and often controversial career. But what you see is still what you get: an intense and unrelenting competitor who isn't afraid to speak his mind. The most decorated slider in Canadian history may be older and wiser, but he'll always be more McEnroe than Gretzky; the kind of born winner who can't abide losers."

• Lueders did not win a medal at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver. He placed fifth in both the two-man event and the four-man event.

Medium: Television
Program: Saturday Report
Broadcast Date: Feb. 5, 1994
Guests: Pierre Lueders, Dave MacEachern
Reporter: Mark Connolly
Duration: 3:03

Last updated: February 7, 2014

Page consulted on September 10, 2014

All Clips from this Topic

Related Content

Running Off Track: The Ben Johnson Story

In 1976, Benjamin Sinclair Johnson was just a skinny immigrant kid struggling to make his high...

Going for Dope: Canada and Drugs in Sport

From stimulants to steroids, growth hormones and even gene therapy, high-performance athletes ...

Getting the Games: Canada's Olympic Bids, ext...

It might be the most ruthless of all Olympic competitions: the race for the right to host the ...

Politics and the Olympics

Every four years, the countries of the world gather to celebrate athletic achievement in an at...

1996: Donovan Bailey wins gold at Atlanta Oly...

Not silver, not bronze - only gold will suffice for sprinter Donovan Bailey.

50 Years of Olympic Broadcasting

From Melbourne to Montreal, Munich to Mexico City, the CBC has roamed the planet to beam Olymp...