VANCOUVER -- Most athletes specialize in one sport, but not Kayden Johnson.  

He is an elite hurdler, a high-performance bobsledder, and now a BC Lions running back.

In the 2020 CFL draft, the Lions chose Johnson to be a part of the team, which led to a surprise call from a legend in the game.

“I was so excited when the BC Lions chose me in their draft. Geroy Simon was the one who gave me the call,” Johnson told CTV News Vancouver. “I remember watching Geroy Simon play on TSN… I’m so excited to get out to Vancouver.”

Johnson played college football at York University in Toronto, where he also made the track and field team as a hurdler. He won a gold medal in the 60-metre event at the U-Sports Championships in 2018.

“Hurdles I know for a fact I can pursue that, and get on the radar in international competitions,” he said.

Standing 6'3" and 225 pounds, he has speed, strength and agility.

“I’m trying to run over the hurdle, I’m trying to go right through. I’m not going to let it slow me down, even if I hit it, I’m just going to go right through it. I just want to attack it like I’m on the one yard line and I’m trying to push in the touchdown,” said Johnson

The 25-year-old is from an athletically accomplished family who have small town roots in Saskatchewan.

“Just being in those small communities it just really helps you grow and respect everyone and be humble,” said Johnson

“Athletics are a huge part of my family: my dad did track and field, my mom was a three sport athlete in university; she was a soccer goalie and played on the women’s hockey and basketball teams.”

He was introduced to the sport of bobsleigh after a competition at the 2018 RBC Training Ground, a program designed for athletes that have Olympic potential.

“Seeing athletes like Jesse Lumsden get in to the bobsleigh and do really well, and go to multiple Olympics…this is perfect, I’m a big fast guy and this sport is right up my alley.”

This season has been a training year for Johnson, who has been working on his technique at the Whistler sliding centre.

“It’s really been a rollercoaster (this) past year,” he said.

“You’re just hurdling down this ice tube, going near 140-150 kilometres an hour and you’re hitting five g-forces around some corners, feels like you are getting squished into the sled - it is just a surreal feeling,” beamed Johnson.

“He has the size the speed and the explosive power we are looking for,” said Esther Dalle, Bobsleigh Canada’s national recruitment and sport coordinator

“Really great team guy, easy to get along with…We do see a bright future with him if he continues to train and keep up on Bobsleigh we can see him vying for a spot on the 2026 Olympics.,” Dalle explained.

With the change of seasons, Johnson goes from the ice track to the football field.  Now he must wait patiently while the CFL sorts out their 2021 season, all the while keeping a healthy perspective.

“I’m big on meditation and mindfulness as well…I find this helps with me athletically as well, because I can emerge myself in the present moment and really ground myself and clear my thoughts,” said Johnson.

Moreover, Johnson is not just an athlete either: he is an aspiring actor who wants to take centre stage one day.

“Acting is a huge passion of mine, at York University I was part of acting and theatre program…I definitely want to pursue acting and TV and movies in the future.”

For now, he remains focused on the gridiron, and once the CFL season does kick off, Johnson is optimistic for his new team

“I always set my goals high, so my standards are go win the Grey Cup this year and bring Vancouver the Cup.”