SPORTS BABE OF THE DAY PRESENTS: JAMES McNAUGHTON, BOBSLEDDER, TEAM CANADA, @McNaughtonJames
James McNaughton, isn’t just a bobsledder. He’s an adrenaline rushed athlete, you’ll find sledding down an icy track at 130-201 km/per hour. He’s one of four men, in a bobsled competing for #TeamCanada in the Sochi 2014 Olympics. Growing up he played for the Huron Heights football team, in Newmarket, Ontario. He moved on to play at the University of Ottawa, in hopes to play in the CFL someday. Injury plagued James to find a different sport to compete in. Inspired, by nonetheless than everyone’s favorite movie, Cool Runnings. Check out beyond the funniest interview I have ever had, give him a follow on twitter, and cheer for them!
21 Questions with James McNaugton
You played football throughout high-school (always annihilating my high-school), and then in university, did it ever cross your mind to go pro?
It was a dream of mine since I first started, but it slowly started to die for me when I was plagued with injury after injury in my last two seasons. While licking my wounds after my last season, I decided I was done being beat up all the time and wanted to give another sport a shot, and bobsleigh was the perfect fit!
How did you get into Bobsledding? Was it something you always imagined doing?
Absolutely not! Not in a million years did I ever think I’d be competing for our country at the Olympic Games in the most intense version of tobogganing this world has to offer. Funny enough, the movie Cool Runnings was what got me started. My buddy had watched the movie and we started talking about how weird of a sport it was, and wondered “how does someone start bobsledding”. Next thing I know, I was looking it up, and by dumb luck happened to have the perfect body type, and from what I could see had the physical qualities that they were looking for.
What was going through your head during your last qualifying run?
HOW IN THE HELL ARE WE IN 4th!?!?! We had a pretty awesome feeling run, but our result at the bottom wasn’t what we were expecting. I was very happy to be qualified, but my competitive side won’t let me be happy with just getting there!
If I were to look in your fridge, what would I find?
In training, you’d find a farms entire crop of veggies, tons of meat, and eggs, oh and hot sauce…Love that stuff! Offseason might look a little different…
How do you mentally prepare for a race? Any superstitions?
Superstitions no, but I do have a pretty solid routine. I like to keep myself relaxed until it’s go time, so I pop in my headphones and have a wicked country playlist lined up. It brings me back home and reminds me of what got me there. Come race time, I switch it up, and my playlist gets a little more hardcore!
What is your pump-up music before a race?
I love to listen to some screamo, EDM, or rap right before I hit the line. Kind of depends on my mood, but something intense and high energy.
How would your teammates describe you in three words?
Stand up guy
Up until this moment, what would be your proudest accomplishment?
I’m not much for personal accomplishments. I’d say my proudest moment was talking with a young boy from home this year who was really down on himself and struggling to see the good in his life. I had a good chat with him on email and hearing from his mom afterwards, I couldn’t have been prouder. He told her I had really helped him see that he could go after what he wanted if he just set his mind to it. I’m looking forward to meeting up with him when I’m home and maybe getting a workout in together!
Who is your biggest fan?
Hmm…that’d be a tough one to single out. I have a massive group of friends and family back home who have supported me through some huge highs and lows along this whole ordeal. I’d have to say my biggest fan is every single one of them back home. They make what I do such a blast!
What advice would you give to those brave enough, to try bobsledding?
Hold on tight! Your first couple runs are insane, but you’ll learn to love it!
Will you be attending any other events at the Olympics?
I likely won’t. I’d love to go cheer on our hockey team, but I’m there to compete, and won’t be wasting much energy elsewhere.
If you could trade places with anyone for a day, who would it be and why?
Maybe try my luck as a pro fisherman for a day…couldn’t imagine how cool it’d be to get paid to do such a sweet activity!
Are you single, dating, or locked down? What are favorite qualities about a lady?
Single. I love a small town country girl, family oriented, doesn’t mind getting dirty, likes to keep it simple, and can kick back with the boys.
Describe your perfect date?
Spend a day out on a boat. Do some swimming, have a couple bevvy’s, maybe drop a line in the water.
What does it mean to you, to be a part of team Canada, in the Sochi 2014 Olympics
It’s a dream come true. Couldn’t be more honored to be representing our country in the biggest sporting event in the world!
Do you have any guilty pleasures?
I do like to forget about training and competition sometimes…So probably drinking some cold beers and shootin’ the sh*t with my buddies.
What is the best/hardest part about your sport?
Being able to fly down an icy track as fast as possible is pretty cool! But I’d say the best is being in a position where I can reach out to kids and hopefully convince them to believe in themselves and that if they set their minds to it, the can achieve any goal they set for themselves. Hardest part would be making a team! Especially in the Olympic year, everyones job is on the line, and the best athletes in Canada show up to go to the games. Keeping your head on straight and pushing through all the struggles you’re faced with proves to be quite the task when you are trying to separate yourself from your competition by hundredths of a second!
Did it ever cross your mind (while taking the picture of “Team Kripps” waiting for weigh-in) that It would go viral? Especially be on Perezhilton.com?
I didn’t have the slightest idea that that picture would take off like that. It’s pretty funny though!
Favorite quote/ motto?
All the people that you meet on your way up, are the same people you’re going to meet on your way down.
What is something you enjoy doing in the offseason?
Fishing, cottaging, boating, wakeboarding, atving, anything outdoors!
Who had the idea to grow the beards on “Team Kripps”?
It just kind of happened. My teammate Tim Randall had quite the beard going, so me and my pilot/roommate Justin Kripps jumped on board, and when our brakeman Bryan Barnett was named to the team, he figured he’d better fit in!
What is your favorite quote from Cool Runnings? (Hopefully, you’ve seen it)
Sanka man, you alright? Yeahhhhh mon!
How would you like to be remembered?
As a hard working guy, who puts his family and friends first.
If I were to grab your iPod, what would be the 5 top songs?
Randy Houser – Running Out of Moonlight
Randy Houser – How Country Feels
Thomas Rhett – It Goes Like This
Florida Georgia Line – This Is How We Roll
Slipknot – Before I Forget
If you could have dinner and a deep hearted conversation with anyone (dead or alive) who would it be? Why? And where would you go?
My Grandpa on my Dad’s side. He died the year before I was born, and from what I’ve heard of him, I missed getting to meet an awesome guy. He loved sports, was a super welcoming guy, always took care of his family, and was so proud of what his family would accomplish. I like to think I’m making him proud every time I get behind that push bar. He was an avid fisherman, so maybe hit up a lake, catch ourselves dinner and have a shore lunch.
Hot Seat Questions
What’s your perfect meal?
All you can eat sushi
Name a fear that you have?
Losing anyone close to me
Bass Pro Shops
How do you take your coffee?
Thick and black
Best Knock-Knock Joke?
I’m horrible at these!
Favorite type of beer?
Red Racer IPA
What is your favorite show that you follow?
Sons Of Anarchy
Whats your go to pump up jam?
I couldn’t name one, I listen to a ton depending on my mood. Anything from screamo, EDM, Rap, to metal.
Name a unique fact about you that nobody would ever guess about you?
I cannot for the life of me eat the last corner of a piece of bread…
This or That?
Chocolate or vanilla?
Gatorade or Powerade?
Going to the movies or Netflix?
Beach house or ski house?
Long or short hair?
Tim Hortons or Starbucks?
Coors Light or Canadian?
Neither…but if I had to choose, Canadian
Leafs or Sens?
You can’t be serious…LEAFS!!
Chocolate chip or Oreo?
Steak or chicken?
Ice cream or cake?
Boxers or briefs or boxer briefs?
Dogs or cats?
Underarmour or Nike?
Dressed up or casual?
Comedy or action?
Backward or forward hat?
Microsoft or Apple?
Breakfast, lunch or dinner?
Rap or Rock?
Who would you nominate for the next Sports Babe of the Day?
Hmm…I honestly don’t know!