Tasmania’s top competitive skeleton athlete, Tyler Heron, will continue his path towards the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing when he returns to Canada and the US for a 10-day camp.
Heron will touch down in Whistler, Canada, later this month before reuniting with professional bobsleigh and skeleton athletes from around the world. This will be followed by competition in Whistler, Park City and Lake Placid.
After swapping the athletics track for the skeleton bobsled two years ago, the 26-year-old former hurdler admits he’s made steady progress since his induction camp and can’t wait to continue towards the pinnacle of the sport.
“The trip this time around is just about getting back into the swing of things, it’s been a while since I've last been over [to America and Canada],” he said.
“I’m looking to improve my efficiency in the sled, seeing a lot of the pros last year gave me a good insight into how they do it and how I can be better.”
Goal-setting has been an important part of the journey as Heron plans to test his skills in several upcoming events.
“My long-term goal is obviously the 2022 Winter Olympics, but in the short-term the North American Cup [next month] is a great challenge plus the upcoming world championships [in Germany, in January].
“It has to be the adrenaline rush and excitement that appealed to me compared to track and field.
“You’re going from sprint speed to a sled that is moving faster than cars. You are usually going around 130km/h, some are even reaching 140km/h.”
Despite the knowledge that a wrong move at that speed could potentially be life-threatening, the ex-St.Patrick’s College student believes it’s all a part of the pulsating sport.
“I’ve had a few knocks on the way, but it's just about being as comfortable and relaxed as possible.
“It’s not just about what happens on the sled, there’s also a lot of engineering and fine-tuning to make sure your ride is efficient and safe.”