To even the most refined eye it would have been nearly impossible to sense the nerves of the four Canadian bobsledders ahead of their final World Cup run last Saturday in Whistler.
But behind the steely resolve displayed by Taylor Austin, Cyrus Gray, Shaquille Murray-Lawrence, Davidson De Souza, their adrenaline was pumping as they sat in second place after their first run. Knowing a podium finish was in reach, the quartet from Canada found composure.
Pilot Austin guided them down the track in their final run, enough to secure a bronze medal and marking just the sixth international medal for Canada on the challenging Whistler Sliding Centre track.
In the first World Cup race to begin a new Olympic cycle, the Canadians needed this start. And this particular foursome needed this podium finish because bobsleigh can be ruthless. There are no guarantees when it comes to what four men are going to be in the sled.
Murray-Lawrence knows this all too well.
"You have to produce. We are racing for our lives. This is the big leagues," he told CBC Sports. "It is a week-to-week basis now. If we had come out and wet the bed we might not be in Park City this week. That's the nature of the business."
WATCH | Taylor Austin's four-man sled earns bronze in Whistler:
But they are in Park City, where they will race another World Cup event this weekend on the Utah track. The plan is to also race together in Lake Placid, N.Y., at the final World Cup race before the holiday break.
But they have to keep delivering under pressure.
Murray-Lawrence has been part of the national team for a few years. Last season he was named an alternate for the Olympics, something he says hurt him as he felt he belonged on the team.
"I got the biggest chip on my shoulder. I was named an alternate," Murray-Lawrence said. "That hurt me last year. Coming in this year, it's head down and straight revenge-mode for me. And with that I'll help our program.
"Iron sharpens iron. Let's prove to the world and our country that we belong."
The podium performance in Whistler secured a spot on the national senior World Cup team for Austin. He tried not to let the magnitude of what was on the line ahead of the final run rattle him too much, but it was certainly something that lingered in the back of his mind.
I came from basketball. I had to learn how to sprint and lift and basically the whole sport. I learned it all from scratch." - Cyrus Gray on his switch to bobsleigh
"It definitely was a thought. When you're in a position of pressure your mind goes a lot of different places. I went back to my routine and focused on what I could control. It worked out in our favour and secured a spot for me. Pretty ecstatic about that. Breath of fresh air really because now I can focus on competing," Austin said.
"It took a while to accept what that meant. After the sled was back at the top and we were changing out of our gear, we were pretty excited. A lot of smiles."
Now the team is back to work, putting in their final preparations before taking to the Park City track.
Gray is soaking up every second of the journey right now, having only learned what bobsleigh was five years ago. He was a basketball player but, on the urging of his mother, went to an RBC training ground session, a talent identification program for athletes from many sports. There he met Canadian bobsledder Helen Upperton and other team representatives.
"They saw me and said I looked big and strong. I did not know what it was," Gray said. "I came from basketball. I had to learn how to sprint and lift and basically the whole sport. I learned it all from scratch."
Now he has a World Cup bronze medal and wants more.
"For it to be at home and be on the podium in front of my friends and family was an absolute special moment," Gray said. "It's a pleasure to be with all these great Canadian athletes. When Team Canada posted about us on their Instagram after the bronze medal that gave us such a boost. It's a huge privilege. It's an honour to be seen in Canada's eyes. There's no swagger. It's just such a pleasure to be part of all of this."