'Home' team touches down

DARREN FRIESEN -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 9:41 AM ET

Pierre Lueders could only smile as he watched teammate Lascelles Brown write 'Canadian' on his customs form.

In what has been a remarkable two months for the silver medal-winning bobsledders, everything came to a conclusion yesterday as they arrived home from Turin, Italy.

"It's been a long journey, especially for my teammate Lascelles Brown," said Lueders, who waited anxiously for his Jamaican-born brakeman to receive his citizenship only weeks before the Olympics started.

"This is the first time he's been in Canada as a Canadian, so that's a pretty exciting day for him, too.

"It's just nice to be home, it's been a long road. It'll be nice to spend some time with family and friends and share this (medal)."

While Lueders and Brown have been busy competing for their country the last few weeks, neither athlete has had the opportunity to digest their podium performance and, more importantly, Brown's shiny new passport.

"I'm saw him writing down Canada on his customs form, so I'm very happy for him," said an exhausted Lueders, while interested onlookers asked to touch his medal at the airport yesterday. "It was a really good learning experience for myself as well, because it shows there's more to life than just sport -- seeing how proud he was the day he received his citizenship."

For Brown, the way things unfolded in the last two months is a dream come true.

"I was thinking on the plane coming over. I used to dream I'm flying and then when I got the citizenship, I think that was my wings, so I'm flying now," he said.

The duo, which also finished fourth in the four-man event, is done for the season and will now look to defending the world championship title next season in Austria.

Further down the road, Lueders said finishing his career in Canada, on top of the podium, would be the ideal setting for retirement.

"I started my career in Canada and I'd like to finish my career in Canada. It wouldn't be right ending your career in another country, so this works out well," he said, referring to the 2010 Games in Vancouver.

"Some of the American athletes said to me -- Todd Hays was one -- 'If you can compete in your own Olympics in your own country, there's nothing better.' I'd really like to see what that's like -- when I get out of my sled, and be on Canadian soil and have my family right there."

Count Brown in, too.

"As long as Pierre is there, I'll stick around because he's a great driver. I really like working with him," said Brown. "But first, I'm going to go home and get some sleep for like two weeks. I'm so tired."


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