Bruno Banani considering bobsleigh at next Winter Olympics
Tonga's first Winter Olympian, Bruno Banani, reflects on his performance in Sochi and talks about his future plans.
Tongan luge star Bruno Banani has hinted he will make another tilt at the Winter Olympics, but not necessarily in the same sport.
The 26 year-old, nicknamed 'The Flying Coconut, finished in 32nd place in the luge competition in Sochi.
After years of training and and two days of competition he spoke with Vinnie Wylie about his Olympic journey.
BRUNO BANANI: I just sit there now and think of the last five years of hard working, lots of sacrifices and I think it was all worth it and with the race over and now I can just relax and rest and see what's going to come next.
VINNIE WYLIE: Are you happy with how you performed out there?
BB: Yeah absolutely. I felt a little bit of pressure of course but I think I coped with the situation ok and it was the best run that I ever had compared to my training run times. My goal was to be in the top 30. I knew, for sure, it would be hard for me to get to the 30 but I had to set a goal and fight for it. I ended up in 32nd place, so two steps back from the goal, which is still, for me, I'm pretty happy about it. And of course the plan for the future I'm not sure yet if I'm going to continue on with this luge or I'm also thinking of bobsled but I haven't really made a decision yet.
VW: So you've caught the Winter Olympics bug well and truly then? Thinking about potentially 2018 you're obviously really enjoying that experience?
BB: The night when I walked in the opening ceremony the feeling was just amazing, it was incredible. I think on that night I was already thinking I would love to walk in again in the opening ceremony in the next Winter Olympics.
VW: The idea of bobsled, is that sort of the idea behind sort of a new challenge, obviously another thing to try and achieve?
BB: Yeah because so many people in the luge family they're also supporting me like pushing me if you stop doing luge then try also bobsled because now I almost know all the luge track, which is the same for the bob. I only need some strong and fast guys from Tonga to push the top sled and then we slide down. It's only an idea but we will see. Everything will just depend on money if it's possible.
VW: And do you have any message for the people of Tonga? Obviously your story and your achievements have really struck a chord there and they're all very proud of you. I imagine you've had plenty of messages - what would you say to the people back home?
BB: I just want to say thank you for everyone: every Tongan and non-Tongan because I received messages from all around the world how proud they are in what I do. I just want to thank the Royal Family, the Princess, all their support and everything. I just don't have all the right words to say thanks to them. I just did the best that I could. Like I said, let's rest for now and see what's coming for Tonga in the next Winter Olympics.
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