Transcript: Meet Canada's Top Street Luger | Aug 07, 2019

Jeyan Jeganathan stands in the set of "The Agenda."

Jeyan is in his thirties, with short curly brown hair and a stubble. He wears a blue suit, a white shirt, and a patterned beige tie.

A caption reads "A streed luge champion."

The caption changes "Jeyan Jeganathan. @JeyanTVO, @theagenda."

Jeyan says IN 2018, KOLBY PARKS BECAME THE
FIRST EVER CANADIAN
TO CAPTURE THE WORLD STREET LUGE
CHAMPIONSHIP.
I VISITED HIS HOMETOWN OF
PICTON, ONTARIO
TO TALK ABOUT THE RISE OF THE
DOWNHILL SPORT
AND WHAT IT TAKES TO BE ON TOP.

(music plays)

A clip shows athletes going down a road sitting down on their skateboards.

Jeyan says MEET KOLBY PARKS. HE'S A BIG
DEAL IN PICTON, ONTARIO,
AND THE CURRENT WORLD CHAMPION
IN A SPORT MANY HAVE NEVER
HEARD OF-- STREET LUGE.

Kolby says IT'S PRETTY DUSTY.
SLIPPERY.
YEAH, IT'S PRETTY SLIPPERY
OUT THERE.

Kolby is in his thirties, with a stubble and wears a neoprene suit and a knit hat.

Kolby says I'M ESSENTIALLY RIDING A BIG
SOUPED-UP SKATEBOARD.
BASICALLY YOU SIT ON IT,
FEET FIRST.
IT'S THE GREATEST RUSH
YOU CAN HAVE.

Jeyan says PARKS LIKES TO GO FAST.
HE ONCE GOT HIS BOARD UP TO
154 KILOMETERS PER HOUR, A PERSONAL BEST.

Parks says YOU CAN'T REALLY DESCRIBE IT,
BECAUSE IT'S SO FAST.
LIKE, I'VE NEVER EVEN GONE
THAT FAST IN A CAR.

Jeyan says THE 34-YEAR-OLD HAS BEEN
RIPPING DOWN HILLS
FOR OVER TWO DECADES,
AND HE FELL IN LOVE WITH THE
SPORT AT 12.

A caption reads "Kolby Parks. Street luge world champion."

Kolby says I'VE ALWAYS LOVED RACING, EVER
SINCE I WAS REALLY LITTLE,
AND ONE DAY SOME OF MY FRIENDS
FROM SCHOOL SAID,
"KOLBY, THERE'S THIS NEW THING
CALLED THE X-GAMES.
"IT'S LIKE THE OLYMPICS,"
WHICH THEY KNEW I REALLY LOVED,
"BUT IT'S FOR SPORTS
THAT WE LIKE,
"LIKE BMX AND ROLLERBLADING
AND SKATEBOARDING."
AND THE FIRST THING I SAW ON IT
WAS STREET LUGE,
AND IT WAS KIND OF A LOVE AT
FIRST SIGHT THING.
IT WAS LIKE, THAT'S IT.
I'M DOING THAT. THAT'S MINE.

Jeyan says IT ALL STARTED HERE,
ON THE FAMILY FARM
IN PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY.
PARKS WOULD SPEND HOURS
MAKING LUGES
OUT OF ANYTHING HE COULD FIND,
INCLUDING SCRAP METAL,
SHEETS OF WOOD,
AND EVEN A PAIR OF SKIS.

Kolby holds a luge and says THIS ONE I RODE DOWN THE HILL,
BUT THIS IS THE SECOND ONE
THAT I MADE.
THESE ARE THE ORIGINAL SKIS
THAT I TOOK OFF THE SKATEBOARD
AND I MOUNTED ON THERE, AND THAT
WAS MY VERY FIRST PROPER LUGE.

Jeyan says THE SPORT HAS GROWN SINCE
IT WAS CREATED
IN THE LATE 1970S
IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA.
THE SPORT IS PART OF THE
INTERNATIONAL DOWNHILL
FEDERATION,
AND COMPETITIONS ARE HELD
ACROSS THE WORLD.

Kolby says WE HAVE RIDERS IN ALMOST EVERY
COUNTRY.
I'VE DONE RACES ALL OVER EUROPE.
ENGLAND, FRANCE,
GERMANY, AUSTRIA, ROMANIA,
CZECH REPUBLIC.
I'VE ALSO GONE TO SOUTH KOREA,
AUSTRALIA, BRAZIL,
ALL OVER THE UNITED STATES,
SO IT'S TAKEN ME TO PLACES
THAT I WOULD NEVER HAVE SEEN
OTHERWISE.

Jeyan says BACK AT HIS HOME IN PICTON,
PARKS' SUCCESS IN THE SPORT
IS ON FULL DISPLAY.
BUT HE KEEPS MOST OF HIS
TROPHIES, MEDALS,
AND GIANT CHEQUES IN HIS
OFFICE,
WHICH ALSO OPERATES AS A
MAKESHIFT GARAGE.
AND NO, THERE ISN'T MUCH MONEY
TO BE MADE IN THE SPORT.

Kolby shows a couple of badges and says I GOT FIRST AND SECOND AT THE
RACE IN CALGARY. THESE TWO.
I GOT FIRST IN THE CLASSIC LUGE,
WHICH IS THIS WOODEN ONE HERE.
IT'S A DIFFERENT CLASS.
AND THEN I GOT SECOND IN THE
STREET LUGE,
AND I WON 800 BUCKS CANADIAN FOR
THAT.
AND THAT WOULDN'T HAVE COVERED
MY ENTRY FEE
AND FLIGHT OUT THERE.

Jeyan says IT MAY LOOK LIKE GRAVITY DOES
ALL THE WORK,
BUT PARKS SAYS A COMBINATION OF
UPPER BODY AND CORE WORKOUTS
AND A RESTRICTED DIET HELPS.
HE'S ALSO BEEN TAKING OLYMPIC
WEIGHTLIFTING COURSES
TO HELP WITH HIS TECHNIQUE
AT THE STARTING LINE.
COMPETITORS TRAVEL ON AVERAGE
BETWEEN 80 AND 100 KILOMETERS
ON DOWNHILL COURSES THAT HAVE
A MIX OF TWISTS, TURNS,
AND STRAIGHTAWAYS.
LUGERS WEAR A HELMET,
A LEATHER SUIT,
AND HAVE TIRE TREADS GLUED TO
THE BOTTOM OF THEIR SHOES
TO HELP THEM STOP AND STEER.
BUT THE THRILL IS SHORT-LIVED.
RACES ONLY LAST A MINUTE
OR TWO.
AND, OF COURSE, THE SPORT COMES
WITH SOME OBVIOUS RISKS.

A clips show a competitor crashing against a pile of haystacks alongside the road.

Parks says ON THE COURSE,
ON ALL THE DANGER AREAS,
WE USUALLY HAVE HAY BALES
LINING,
SO IF YOU'RE GOING THE HAY
BALES, LIFT UP YOUR FEET
AND THE HAY BALES WILL STOP YOU.
SOME COURSES WILL HAVE NETTING,
IF THERE'S A CLIFF OR SOMETHING
LIKE THAT
THAT YOU NEED TO BE STOPPED
IMMEDIATELY.

Jeyan says AS BAD AS IT LOOKS, KOLBY HAS
NEVER BROKEN A BONE,
BUT HIS CHAMPIONSHIP WIN
CAME WITH A DANGEROUS REMINDER
OF THE SPORT'S RISKS.
RIGHT BEFORE HIS FINAL RUN
IN BRAZIL
TO CEMENT HIS CHAMPIONSHIP
SEASON, TRAGEDY STRUCK.

Parks says A MOTORCYCLE HAD
COME ON THE COURSE
AND HAD HIT THE PREVIOUS
SKATEBOARD HEAT
THAT WAS GOING DOWN.
THE GUY WHO WAS LEADING...
I THINK HE WAS 19 YEARS OLD...
UP-AND-COMING BRAZILIAN,
HE WAS IN FRONT
AND GOT HIT AND WAS KILLED
INSTANTLY.

A clip of the accident rolls.

Kolby says THE KIDS KNEW I HAD
A ROUGH TIME LAST YEAR
WITH THE CIRCUMSTANCES IN
BRAZIL,
SO THE KINDERGARTEN CLASS
I WAS IN LAST YEAR,
THEY ALL MADE THIS GIANT HEART
AND THEY ALL SIGNED IT.
IT'S ONE OF MY FAVOURITE THINGS.
I HOPE TO MAYBE PUT IT
IN A FRAME.

Jeyan says STREET LUGE IS JUST ONE OF
PARKS' PASSIONS.
THE OTHER IS WORKING WITH KIDS
AT PRINCE EDWARD COLLEGIATE
INSTITUTE,
WHERE HE WORKS AS AN
EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANT.

A teacher says ALL RIGHT. THIS ONE...
"SCREAM," GOOD JOB.

Jeyan says SHERRILEE BELL IS A
TEACHER AT PECI,
AND HAS BEEN WORKING WITH PARKS
FOR OVER TWO YEARS NOW.

The caption changes to "Sherrilee Bell. Teacher."

Sherrilee is in her thirties, with long, slightly wavy brown hair in a half-do and wears a pink floral blouse over a black tank top.

Sherrilee says I WOULD SAY THAT THE MAJORITY
OF THE STUDENTS
THAT WORK WITH HIM PROBABLY
DON'T KNOW.
HE KEEPS IT VERY SEPARATE.
IT IS A SMALL COMMUNITY,
SO THERE'S OFTEN WRITEUPS ON HIM
IN THE PAPER,
WHICH IS HOW I OFTEN FIND OUT
WHAT'S GOING ON WITH KOLBY.

Jeyan says HE'S BEEN FEATURED ON THE FRONT
PAGE OF THE PICTON GAZETTE,
AND HIS SPORT EVEN MADE IT INTO
THE PAPER'S CROSSWORD PUZZLE.
THROUGH IT ALL, PARKS STAYS
HUMBLE.

Kolby says BEING FROM A SMALL TOWN,
I THINK THAT'S
WHAT ACTUALLY HAS HELPED THE
MOST KEEP ME HUMBLE,
BECAUSE YOU GREW UP WITH ALL
THESE PEOPLE.
SO, YOU KNOW, THEY'RE
CONGRATULATING ON YOUR SUCCESS,
BUT THEN FIVE MINUTES LATER
THEY'RE TALKING ABOUT, YOU KNOW,
HOW YOUR FAMILY IS DOING AND
HOW THE FARMING IS GOING
AND HOW'S THE PLANTING
AND ALL THAT GOING?
SO EVERYONE TREATS EVERYBODY THE
SAME WAY,
AND I TREAT EVERYONE ELSE THE
SAME WAY TOO.
I JUST GO DOWN HILLS FAST
ON MY BUTT.

Jeyan says THIS SEASON WILL BE A BIT
DIFFERENT, HOWEVER.
PARKS IS THE DEFENDING CHAMP,
AND HE'S READY TO PUT
IN THE WORK
TO GROW THE SPORT AND DEFEND
HIS TITLE.
(CHEERING)

(music plays)

The end credits roll.

Ontario Hubs Field Producer, Jeyan Jeganathan. @JeyanTVO.

Editor, David Erwin.

A slate appears with the caption "Ontario Hubs are made possible by: The Barry and Laurie Green Family Charitable Trust and Goldie Feldman."

Watch: Meet Canada's Top Street Luger