CALGARY - Canada's Jesse Lumsden has been training for seven hours a day in preparation for the upcoming bobsled season.
On Sunday, he'll take a few hours off to focus on his sporting roots.
The former CFL star will be watching as his former team — the Hamilton Tiger-Cats — takes on Saskatchewan in the Grey Cup. Lumsden plans to get together with Johnny Quinn — a U.S. team member and former Roughrider — and some other bobsledders to watch the action on TV in Calgary, where they're preparing for next week's World Cup.
"With me playing for the Ticats, we've had some fun chatting back and forth," Lumsden said.
Quinn had a stint in the NFL before signing with the Roughriders in 2009. He turned to bobsled after his brief pro football career was derailed by a serious knee injury.
Lumsden, who also battled injuries on the gridiron, has kept a close eye on the sport since he retired in 2011. He still has several friends on the Ticats, including Peter Dyakowski and Marwan Hage, who were on the offensive line when he was there.
"Those are the guys that I'm really excited for and happy for because they've been there from the beginning," Lumsden said. "They stuck through the hard times of the 3-and-15 and the 2-and-16 seasons. It's been a long time. Hamilton needs this as well."
Lumsden has also done football broadcasting work on occasion. It's something he might focus on down the road when his bobsled career winds down.
For now though, he's in top form on the ice.
Lumsden teamed with Lyndon Rush of Humboldt, Sask., to win the overall World Cup two-man bobsled title last season. The Canadian men's and women's teams are both looking strong ahead of the 2013-'14 season and the Sochi Olympics in February.
Lumsden showed off his pre-season form Saturday by winning the WinSport World Push Challenge at the indoor ice house at Canada Olympic Park. Heather Moyse of Summerside, P.E.I., won the women's competition.
The Challenge features brakemen and pushers battling for the best push times. The final rounds in the men's and women's categories were scheduled for Saturday night.
The event is a prelude to the season-opening Nov. 29-30 bobsled and skeleton World Cup.
Another one of Lumsden's former CFL teams played in the Grey Cup last year. The Calgary Stampeders lost to the Toronto Argonauts in the championship game at Rogers Centre.
Lumsden, who also had a brief stint with the Edmonton Eskimos, had a stellar university career at McMaster and won the Hec Crighton Trophy as the most outstanding CIS player in 2004. He went on to spend four seasons with the Tiger-Cats.
The 31-year-old Edmonton native first tested for bobsled in 2009. He teamed with Pierre Lueders at the Vancouver Olympics and finished fifth in the two-man and four-man events.
Lumsden has blossomed on the circuit of late with his powerful six-foot-one, 223-pound frame a perfect match for the rigours of bobsled.
"It is different but I can compare it to almost like — when I was on special teams — the opening kickoff," Lumsden said. "It's one play and you're getting so amped up for that 50 or 60-yard run, just to go smash somebody down at the end of the field. So that's the (best) comparison I can think of.
"You're going as hard as you possibly can for a short period of time."