Fairbairn takes a brainy approach
By Alan Baldwin
ROSA KHUTOR, Russia (Reuters) - Canadian Olympic skeleton slider John Fairbairn has a degree in mechanical engineering and a brain painted on his helmet.
Lest there be any doubt, the World Cup medalist likes to portray himself as one of the brighter members of his squad in a sport where mental strength is key.
"I've always kind of been the smart guy on the team," he said, to open-mouthed gasps and laughter from his colleagues seated alongside at a news conference at the Sochi Games on Wednesday.
"I've always been a bit of a nerd and so I've had a brain painted on my helmet.
"A lot of people kind of get my last name a little bit wrong and don't pronounce it quite right. We were racing at a track in Germany a number of years ago and the track announcer started calling me Fairbrain."
A team mate, and now coach, picked up on it and the name stuck in the abbreviated form of 'Brains'. It was only a small step from there to having a glowing human brain painted on his race helmet for Sochi.
Team mate Eric Neilson took a different approach as the helmet discussion continued.
"Unlike John, apparently I'm a complete idiot," he told reporters. Continued...