Perth bobsled duo primed for Winter Olympics


Australian Winter Olympics bobsled team members Lachlan Reidy, Lucas Mata, David Mari and Hayden Smith.
Australian Winter Olympics bobsled team members Lachlan Reidy, Lucas Mata, David Mari and Hayden Smith.

PERTH raised Lucas Mata and David Mari both 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 kicks off on February 9 with the opening ceremony.

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 ago, 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.”

Mari said he is still doing rehabilitation sessions for his ankles.

He said the intense training regime meant hitting the gym six days a week, and doing double sessions for four of those days.

“We do about five to six hours of training a day, and a lot of eating,” he said.

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