This is a guest blog post from Steve Nash Fitness World & Sports Club Brand Ambassador, Jordan Krause.
February 9, 2018.
This is the date that hundreds of athletes across the globe have been dreaming of their entire lives. This is the day that begins the journey that countless hours of practice, training, recovery, eating, mental preparation, wins, losses, and injuries all have lead up to.
This is the day that the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics begin.
This is a day that I once dreamt of.
Growing up, hockey was my life. I started when I was seven years old after switching over from figure skating because I wanted to be like my older brother. I grew up on a cul-de-sac of 27 guys, and I was the only girl. We had the stereotypical backyard rink, with lights and boards that my dad put up and tended to every year. After a few years playing with the boys, my family relocated to Kelowna where I played with girls for the next five years––winning four Provincial gold medals and one silver, had the experience of running with the torch for the 2010 Olympic torch relay, and where I received the prestigious Isobel Gathorne-Hardy award.
The Canadian Women’s Hockey Team is something that not too many people know much about.
People often don’t realize the commitment, sacrifice, and dedication that the women selected to the Olympic team have to the sport, the program, and their country.
Upon selection to the Olympic program, these women have often spent 5-10 years within the Canadian National Program. This entails much of the following:
- Intense training
- Daily log-booking to track your food intake, workouts, heart rate, hours of sleep, etc.
- Multiple rounds of fitness testing over the years
- Giving up weeks of their summers to attend summer training camps all over the country
- Competing together, and against one another, for spots on the development teams
For an entire year before the Olympics start, they all pack up their lives and move to Calgary for centralization. These women are mothers, wives, friends, students, and workers – but dedicate this entire process to the sport and the country they love – and don’t get paid for doing it.
This was a reality for me for four years – and it was all 100% worth it when I won the World Championships in Czech Republic in 2012 with Team Canada U-18.
It was one of the most amazing accomplishments of my life and something I will never forget. I am forever grateful for the time I spent in the National Program and for all the opportunities I received throughout my hockey career. I have now moved on to pursue other goals in my life, but hope that through my story and my experiences, I can open your eyes a bit more to the differences between the Women’s game and the Men’s game.
I hope that when you sit down to watch the Olympics this year, that you not only cheer loud and proud for our Canadian girls, but I hope you understand, and are in awe of, their unstoppable passion and drive.
I hope you can be inspired by them, be motivated to pursue amazing goals in your own life, and work hard – day in and day out – like they did, to be the best version of yourself.