Team Canada Olympic bobsleds designed by George Brown student

Joshua Dornan with Team Canada sleds_400pxThe 2018 Winter Games in PyeongChang bring a new level of excitement for Joshua Dornan, a George Brown student and self-described "Olympics junkie": he created the graphics emblazoned on Team Canada's bobsleighs and skeleton sleds.

Originally from Saskatoon, Dornan is set to graduate from our Graphic Design program this spring. His sled designs were inspired by a Canada 150 CF18 Hornet that toured across the country last year.

"When I starting really thinking about the parallels between a fighter jet and a bobsled and skeleton sled, the connection was brilliant and obvious," he said. "A bright, beautiful red jet streaking across the sky is a pretty powerful image, and one that many people still remember if they saw it. It was the perfect muse for my design."

Dornan's designs were unveiled in Calgary in January when the Team Canada bobsleigh and skeleton teams were announced.

"I saw the sleds wrapped and ready to go in the shop before they were taken to the event venue and I had a nice little moment, when there was no one else around, and it all kind of sunk in," he said.

Design details

Dornan said the greatest challenge of the project was ensuring his sled designs were unique and not a copy and paste of the design for the Canada 150 jet, created by Jim Belliveau.

"It was difficult, at times, to make sure that I was still making the sleds our own. Things like the very traditional leaf on the nose, the streak of bold black on the sides, and the stylized original orange logo that emulates the Canada 150 leaf are all examples of this. They're informed by the jet, but the sleds have their own identities," Dornan said.

The jet-inspired design continues on the underside of the sleds, with rivets and a false canopy – a nod to aviation enthusiasts and members of the Royal Canadian Air Force.

Props from a bobsleigh legend

Dornan heard that a student had designed the Team Canada sleds used at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi and approached Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton  Open New Browser Window in early 2017. He started creating sketches for the sleds in July.

Kallie Humphries  Open New Browser Window, a bobsleigh multiple gold medallist who'll be competing again for Team Canada at the 2018 Winter Games, gave the student a nice shot in the arm when his designs were unveiled.

"She said 'it's probably the most Canadian sled we've had at the Games,' so that was very cool to hear," Dornan said.

"Canada is on that track in PyeongChang to win, and I wanted the athletes to feel the power of all of Canada with them."

Photo courtesy Dave Holland, Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton  Open New Browser Window