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by Chris Dornan

January 27, 2014, CALGARY (ISN) – An Alberta College of Art + Design (ACAD) student will have an international launch to her art career, thanks to Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton. Ruth Lee won a student art competition to have her sled design showcased on Canada’s bobsleighs at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.

The 22-year-old, fourth-year Visual Communication student’s design, which was inspired by Canada’s natural elements of mountains, snow, ice and water, will be on international display across each of Canada’s men’s and women’s two- and four-man sleds at the Games. ACAD presented Lee with a $2500 honorarium for having the winning design.

“I have always been a huge sport fan, especially the Olympic Winter Games, so it is such an honour to have my design represent the Canadian Bobsleigh Team,” said Lee. “I’ve never won anything as big as this in my life so I’m very excited and I hope this instills a sense of pride within our athletes and serves as a reminder that all of Canada is cheering them on.”

Inspired by the graphic elements depicted on the Sochi 2014 renderings, Lee’s goal was to give the sleds a true Canadian look by utilizing bright red and burgundy colours of the national flag. Lee built on water and mountains as the foundation for sliding sports on tracks around the world. Lee designed the mountains in an abstract, geometric, but modern way to give the sleds a clean and crisp look.

With Canada’s bobsleigh athletes participating in their final training camp prior to the Games in Europe, Olympic silver-medallist Helen Upperton joined Lee along with government, sport and school officials at a media event in the Ice House at Canada Olympic Park to officially unveil the design on a Canada Eurotech bobsleigh.

“Athletes are searching for sources of inspiration from everywhere when they are competing at the Games,” said Upperton, who also took Lee for a ride down the Ice House start track. “Nothing is more powerful for an athlete at the start line than a quick reminder of where they come from and to know millions of Canadians are cheering them on. I think Ruth’s truly Canadian sled design will give our athletes extra motivation to know that all Canadians are right there giving them an extra strong push to the podium.”

Working together with the Alberta College of Art + Design, Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton opened the art competition to all undergrad-level illustration and design art students at ACAD to complete the sled designs. Students submitted their designs, which were evaluated by athletes, staff, and board members.

“This is a great opportunity for ACAD to showcase the talent of our students on an international stage. We are proud of Ruth and as a result of this collaboration with Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton I am sure our whole community of students, alumni and staff will be cheering on our bobsleigh athletes in Sochi,” explains Dr. Daniel Doz, President and CEO of ACAD.

Bobsleigh CANADA Skeleton is a non-profit organization and the national governing body for the sports of bobsleigh and skeleton in Canada. With the support of its valued corporate partners – Adidas, Eurotech – Viking Engineering, BMW Canada, The Globe and Mail, Conceptum Sport Logistics, Therapeutica – along with the Government of Canada, Own the Podium, and SAIT Polytechnic. Bobsleigh CANADA Skeleton develops Olympic and world champions. Please visit us at