Whether it’s on the football field or in a bobsleigh, or even a foray back onto the track; west central athlete and Canadian bobsled team member Kayden Johnson is just about as versatile as they come.

He was skilled enough to be noted as a potential Olympian early on by RBC Training Ground, and was invited to train with Bobsleigh Canada fairly early in his athletic career. Johnson used his training to log a busy season of competition for the first time after he was unable to crack a CFL roster in 2021, and frankly the invaluable experience this year only strengthened his shot at making an Olympic trip in 2026.

Johnson is a current member of the Calgary Stampeders after signing on with the team shortly after the new year, and if he has any questions about the jump from the league to the Olympic games, he will have a great outlet in current CFL free agent and former Roughrider defender Jay Dearborn.

Kayden Johnson Jay Dearborn Bobsleigh CanadaJohnson and Dearborn have taken similar paths, though Dearborn's competition experience is what earned him a spot on this years team in Beijing (Photos sourced via bobsleighcanadaskeleton.ca)

Dearborn is a versatile athlete himself who has competed with Team Canada three times in their world circuit, and actually found himself rushed getting to the Olympics in Beijing according to Johnson.

“At the end of the season he came to Lake Placid and got in some warm-up meets, and then went to Europe to meet the team,” shared the first year Canadian bobsleigh team member.

It has been noted before with Johnson, but he again just respects how much football’s necessary skill-set translates to the sport of bobsleigh. His new coaching staff in Calgary recognizes it as well, as Johnson shares how much exposure his coach had to him prior to signing.

“I talked to coach Dave Dickenson, and he said that he saw me in some newspaper articles, and that really sparked him to try and get me signed with the team and everything because he is really respecting that,” explained Johnson, who will have access to training in Calgary with the local Olympic sliding centre nearby, “I am doing all these sports and everything and he wants me to have the best opportunity to also pursue the Olympics as well, so it's really cool how it can go hand-in-hand.”

As mentioned this was only Johnson’s first year of real competition compared to Dearborn’s three. He was sliding with one of the more developmental teams this season, and was just happy to get a taste of some real action in what ended up being a few races at the North American Cup, Johnson shared with West Central Online the races he managed to compete in this past season.

“That took place in three different spots, from all the bobsled tracks in North America. Whistler, BC, Park City, Utah, and Lake Placid, New York.”

The European Cup is where the true competition lies, and likely represents the next goal of Johnson’s sliding career, as competing there would surely place him in a spot to be considered for the next Olympic games. 

As for the current games, a few podiums have already been settled, but a majority of the top bobsleigh athletes are ready to go as the top 2-man, 4-man, and 2-woman teams from around the world get ready to compete. If Dearborn and his team want to take home a medal they will need to capitalize off some strong runs leading up to the weekend, as the medal round is set for Sunday, February 20th.