Sometimes what’s on your head can be just as important as what’s in it.

Sure, it takes years of training and experience to become an Olympic athlete in skeleton. But when an athlete is sliding down that track a ridiculous speeds, their helmet isn’t just helping protect them from disastrous injury, it’s also sending some kind of message out into the world about the person wearing it.

What are Canada’s skeleton athletes saying with their choice of helmet design at PyeongChang 2018? Here’s a look:

Kevin Boyer

The 24-year-old from Sherwood Park, Alberta screams down the skeleton course sporting a distinctive piece of Haida art; in this case, a beaver. In the lead-up to PyeongChang, his helmet was also emblazoned with the words “mom and dad”.

Team Canada Skeleton athlete Kevin Boyer races in qualifying heats at the Alpensia Sliding Centre during the Winter Olympic Games, in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Thursday, February 15, 2018. (Photo/David Jackson)

Dave Greszczyszyn

The elder statesman of the team, Greszczyszyn was (perhaps understandably) nicknamed “the Grizz” back in high school. So of course his helmet features a fearsome grizzly bear… with the words “True North, strong and free” on the back for good measure.

 

Dave Greszczyszyn of Canada starts his first run during the men’s skeleton competition at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

Barrett Martineau

The ursine trend continues with Martineau, whose helmet is adorned with a not-very-friendly-looking polar bear. We can only imagine what would happen if Martineau’s helmet got into a fight with Greszczyszyn’s.

 

Team Canada Barrett Martineau PyeongChang 2018

Team Canada Skeleton athlete Barrett Matineau races in qualifying heats at the Alpensia Sliding Centre during the Winter Olympic Games, in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Thursday, February 15, 2018. Photo/David Jackson

Jane Channell

Not only did Jon Montgomery’s famous run at Vancouver 2010 inspire Channell to pursue the sport, the motto of those Games (“With Glowing Hearts”) would go on to inspire her own helmet design. Yes, that’s a human sternum, and yes, that’s a glowing maple leaf where the heart would be.

Jane Channell of Canada starts a women’s skeleton training run at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

Mirela Rahneva

Rahneva was hit hard by the death of her mother Valentina from cancer last summer. But the first-time Olympian turned tragedy into inspiration, commissioning a helmet design that paid tribute to the woman who’d given her so much.

 

Canada’s Mirela Rahneva holds her helmet honouring her mother, Valentina, after being named to the Canadian Olympic skeleton team in Calgary on Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh)

Elisabeth Vathje

Vathje asked her helmet designer to come up with the most Canadian design possible. Given the amount of plaid and number of maple leaves, we’d say it was a success.

 

Team Canada’s Skeleton athlete Elisabeth Vathje shows off her helmet design ahead of the 2018 PyeongChang winter Olympics, South Korea. Photo/David Jackson