One of the most appealing things about monobob (one-person bobsleigh) is all the pressure is only on the competitor.
Want to guess what one of the most agonizing things about mono-bob is?
"Being by yourself, there's no one else to blame for your problems," said Whistler's Parker Reid. "I like the mono-bob so far since you don't have the other person there to rely on because sometimes they don't show up."
The 16-year-old is competing on the mono-bob circuit for the first time this year, switching it up after taking part in two-man competition last year. He is looking to earn an entry to the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in Norway next February. It will be the first time mono-bob is ever held at an Olympic event. To get there, Reid needs to hit the top 10 at his next event in St. Moritz, Switzerland on Jan. 9.
All told, Reid is thrilled with his campaign thus far, and with the seventh and final qualifying race on deck, he hopes to climb up from his overall position of 12th.
"So far, so good," Reid said. "A successful season would be finishing overall in the top 10."
Reid said his main focus at the moment is to improve his starts, as once he's on the track, his driving has been a strength. It's more than just speed Reid is working to develop — additional strength will also go a long way to get him where he wants to go.
"My starts aren't fast enough," he said. "You have to be strong to push the weight."
Reid has familiarity with Lillehammer, having recently placed 18th there for his best finish on the OMEGA Youth Series tour outside of North America. He began the season with back-to-back sixth-place showings in Calgary. He'd love to return to Norway, as the track plays to his strengths.
"It's more of a driving track versus a pushing track," he said.
His results in Alberta can be chalked up to knowing pretty much every inch he was going to see.
"I've been to Calgary a lot, so that's muscle memory," he said. "I knew the track better than most of the people there."
Reid has started a GoFundMe page at www.gofundme.com/ef9x5wuc to help offset some of the costs. Though the page has set a goal of $12,000, he said any donation would be welcome. His mom, Leesa, noted all funding for the year so far, about $15,000, has come from the family as the sport is so new, no other funding has been allotted for it quite yet.
The sport can be an expensive one, as costs for renting the mono-bobs can be quite high.
"It's 500 Euros to enter a race. It's 25 Euros for skeleton, where you bring your own sled," Leesa said.
"It's slightly cheaper than shipping your own sled to Europe," Reid added.