Lumsden hits the turf

Jesse Lumsden is hoping to transfer his bobsledding training to the gridiron. (Stuart Dryden/QMI...

Jesse Lumsden is hoping to transfer his bobsledding training to the gridiron. (Stuart Dryden/QMI AGENCY)

WES GILBERTSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:12 AM ET

Jesse Lumsden was sporting an Olympic-issue sweatshirt, although he insisted it was just another item in his wardrobe.

His memories from the 2010 Vancouver Games, though ...

"I don't know if that will ever be topped," Lumsden said. "Being in Canada and representing your own country at the Olympics, it was an amazing experience."

Perhaps an opportunity to hoist the Grey Cup would be of equal emotional importance?

Well, Lumsden would "love to find out."

"I'd love to have that opportunity to debate in my head. What's better, winning a Grey Cup or being in the Olympics?" he said.

"Both are things that very few people get to experience. I'm very fortunate that I've been able to experience as much as I have.

"But, end of November, we can have this conversation. Ask me again."

Lumsden is officially a professional football player again after signing a practice-roster deal with the Calgary Stampeders, just in time to join his new teammates for Tuesday's frigid session at McMahon Stadium.

It's been more than 14 months since Lumsden's last CFL outing, when he suffered a separated shoulder in his first -- and only -- appearance with the Edmonton Eskimos.

In the meantime, he's been riding shotgun for legendary Pierre Leuders in the bobsled ranks, speeding to fifth-place finishes in both the two-and four-man events at the 2010 Winter Games.

And he's far from done with his winter pursuit. In fact, the proximity to Canada Olympic Park is one of the reasons the free-agent running back signed with the Stamps.

"It's not a secret that I'm a two-sport athlete now and I'm going to continue to slide," Lumsden said.

"Not only is home-base for bobsleigh here, but Calgary is a place I could see myself after football, which I did take into consideration. When I came to make a decision, I really thought about what was best for me, not only in the short-term but for the long-term, as well."

For the Stamps, this could also be viewed as a long-term investment.

Lumsden is buried behind two-time rushing champion Joffrey Reynolds and breakout ball-carrier Jon Cornish at running back, although he could spell off starter Rob Cote at fullback.

The 28-year-old will start his Stamps career on the practice roster, meaning he won't be in the lineup for Saturday's clash with the B.C. Lions.

"He looks good in Red & White," said Stamps head coach John Hufnagel.

"I'm very pleased to have him as part of this football team and we'll see how it develops in the future."

Lumsden is willing to be patient.

His three-down football resume doesn't exactly smack of a player primed for a stint on the practice roster -- he's racked up 1,797 rushing yards, scored nine touchdowns on the ground and was an East Division all-star in 2007 -- but Lumsden is willing to pay his dues for another opportunity to tear up turf.

"To be honest with you, I didn't take any time off after the Olympics," he said.

"I went away for four or five days and I came back and I started getting right into football mode, so it's been a long time coming."


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