News & Events

Two athletes share common ground in sport

The road to the Olympic Games can be difficult, but two Saskatchewan athletes are hoping to make their potential journey...

Weekly Roundup
Weekly Roundup Nov. 22-28

John Wetzstein comes home to Sask Rowing Association  It’s a homecoming for John Wetzstein as the distinguished national team coach...

Parapan American Games Wrap Up 

Photo Credit: Dave Holland Sunday November 26 marked the conclusion of the Santiago 2023 Parapan American Games, with the Closing...

Santiago 2023 Team Canada Updates – November 24

Photo Credit: Angela Burger / Canadian Paralympic Committee Canada has gained a spot in the medal rankings, moving to eighth...

Santiago 2023 Team Canada Updates – November 23

Photo Credit: Canadian Paralympic Committee Comité paralympique canadien Canada has fallen in the medal rankings, sitting in ninth with 26...

Santiago 2023 Team Canada Updates – November 22

Photo Credit: Dave Holland/Canadian Paralympic Committee Canada continues to sit eighth in medal standings, with 24 medals, four of which...

Santiago 2023 Team Canada Updates – November 21st

Photo Credit: Dave Holland/Canadian Paralympic Committee Canada holds it place in medal standings, sitting in eighth with 14 medals, three...

Weekly Roundup
Weekly Roundup – Nov. 15 – 21 

Donsberger among eight on National Athlete Pool in skeleton  Kyle Donsberger, who hails from Regina, was named to the National...

Santiago 2023 Team Canada Updates – November 20th

Photo credit: Angela Burger / Canadian Paralympic Committee Canada has made its way to the top ten in medal standings,...

Parapan 2023 Team Canada Updates – November 17th

The 2023 Parapan American Games will commence with Opening Ceremonies today. Para-cyclist Shelley Gautier and wheelchair tennis player, Rob Shaw...

Santiago Welcomes 2023 Parapan American Games This week

Canadian athletes are once again descending on Santiago, Chile as the city plays host to the 2023 Parapan American Games...

Weekly Roundup
Weekly Roundup – Nov. 8 – 14

Ray represents Canada with U18 Men’s National Softball Team Rayn Ray from Saskatoon has joined the Canadian softball team at...

Weekly Roundup
Weekly Roundup – Nov. 1 – 7 

Swift Current group at 2023 Canadian Mixed Curling Championships  The 2023 Canadian Mixed Curling Championships commenced on Sunday, November 5th...

Pan American Games Wrap Up

Photo Credit: Diego Alvujar/Santiago 2023 via Photosport The Closing Ceremony took place on November 5, marking the conclusion of the...

Santiago 2023 Team Canada Updates – November 3rd

Photo Credit: Heuler Andrey/Santiago 2023 via Photosport Canada reclaims its place as third on the medal standings, with 136 medals,...

Santiago 2023 Team Canada Updates – November 2nd 

Photo Credit: Dragomir Yankovic/Santiago 2023 via PHOTOSPORT Canada has moved down in the medal standings, now placing fourth with 116...

Santiago 2023 Team Canada Updates – November 1st 

Photo Credit: PEPE ALVUJAR/SANTIAGO 2023 via PHOTOSPORT Canada holds its place as third in the medal standings, with 109 medals,...

Santiago 2023 Team Canada Updates – October 31st  

Photo Credit: JAVIER SALVO/SANTIAGO 2023 via PHOTOSPORT  Canada continues to hold its place near the top of the medal standings...

Weekly Roundup
Weekly Roundup – Oct. 25 – 31 

Klimchuk announced for Canada’s men’s rugby roster    Regina’s Matthew Klimchuk will join the 32-player roster for Canada’s Men’s 15s...

Santiago 2023 Team Canada Midway – Oct 27 

DANIEL APUY/SANTIAGO 2023 via PHOTOSPORT  The 2023 Santiago Pan American Games have come to the midway point and will conclude...

Saskatchewan Stories

From hockey to bobsleigh: Luke Puto’s journey to the national team

March 20, 2023

When Luke Puto is standing at the top of a bobsleigh track, in that brief moment before the start of a run, he feels a sense of exhilaration that is hard to match.

“In that couple of seconds, it’s just you and you’re focused on what you have to do,” said Puto, one of the newest members of Canada’s national bobsleigh team. “In that moment, that’s when I always feel that exhilaration and that gratitude because at that moment, I’m in complete control of what’s going on and what’s happening.

“As long as I focus on myself, I know that the run is going to go well.”

Puto’s main role as a brakeperson only lasts about four to six seconds, so he has to be completely dialed in to get his team’s bobsleigh off to the fastest start possible.

“In bobsleigh, my entire goal is to push the thing as fast as I possibly can and then after that, my role is kind of done for the rest of the run,” he said.

Luke Puto / Bobsleigh Canada

In his first year with the national bobsleigh team, Puto has competed in three events on International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation’s North American World Cup circuit in Whistler, Park City and Lake Placid. His fourth and final event of the season will be on Mar. 23 and 24 back in Lake Placid where he will continue to implement all he has learned in his first year with the team.

“It was a big learning curve that I was kind of expecting but it wasn’t necessarily as easy as I thought it would be,” he said.

Puto was born in Prince Albert before spending his middle years in Red Deer. Then in high school, Puto and his family moved to Humboldt. He was an avid hockey player his entire life and even went on to play with the Saskatoon Blazers U18 AAA team in 2016-17. However, after high school, he was at a crossroads with his hockey career.

“When I finished high school, I tried to play junior hockey for a bit but my skill level was going to mean that I was going to be at the bottom of the lineup,” said Puto. “Honestly the passion for it disappeared at that point.”

However, Puto still needed an outlet for his competitiveness. That’s when he found bobsleigh.

“It was always something that kind of interested me when you watch the Olympics,” he said. “When you see what the sport is, it’s something you can’t quite take your eyes off of.”

Puto first encounter with bobsleigh was through RBC Training Ground, a talent identification program designed to find young athletes with Olympic potential. Puto didn’t make it to the regional finals but he did connect with Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton and went on to attend a prospect camp. He made it to the selection races in 2019 but didn’t make the national team. After the 2020 and 2021 season were basically wiped out due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Puto finally cracked the roster in 2022.

“It meant a lot to me,” he said of making the team. “I got so close a couple of years back and it left a bad taste in my mouth just because I knew I didn’t perform my best in the last little bit.

“I lived with that regret through the COVID-19 years and that’s what kind of kept fuelling me to try and come back.”

Puto now works with fellow Humboldt product and 2010 Olympic bronze medalist Lyndon Rush, who is one of his coaches. And like Rush did, Puto’s goal one day is to make the Olympics. But he understands there’s a process that needs to be followed before any of those lofty goals are achieved.

“Obviously I want to reach the peak of this sport but obviously there’s a lot that goes into getting there that you can pass by,” said Puto. “I think it’s easier to get to that goal if you’re paying attention to all the little ones.”

And with RBC Training Ground coming to Saskatoon on Mar. 25, Puto encourages other athletes between the ages of 14 and 25 to explore what other opportunities are out there in sport.

“There’s a lot of great athletes out here that are kind of like me and stuck in that where you’re not going to make it to the next step in the sport that you’re playing but you’re not quite done,” said Puto. “Things like RBC Training Ground are such great opportunities to give athletes who aren’t quite ready to be done.

“If sport is something that is important to you … the most important thing to do is just be open to all of these opportunities.”