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Youth Olympic Dreams: Just an Average Teenage Girl

Tuesday, 19 July 2011 - Posted by Emily Gray

So, where do I begin? Since my last post, I have completed grade 11. All of my exams went extremely well, and I have been working full time ever since. Between finishing school, working and training I have been quite busy. I miss curling very much, and I cannot wait until August when Team Canada meets up again in Halifax for the week-long Whitecap Curling Camp.

I miss Corryn, Thomas and Derek like crazy! It is an understatement to say that the team has become a very big part of my life in the past four months. We have bonded and made lifelong friendships in the mere two times we have seen each other.

Emily Gray representing Prince Edward Island at the 2011 Canada Games in Halifax, Nova Scotia (Photo courtesy of Emily Gray)

Even though I am very excited to see them, I am much more excited for something else right now. In a few days, I set off for the trip of a lifetime. I am going to Australia, New Zealand and Hawaii for ten days. My suitcase is out, and I’ve started throwing random things in it. I’m sure it will be a big rush to get everything packed on the eve of my departure, but isn’t that how it always is? Australia is my dream place to go, and it is crazy to think that in a week I will be there.

My training is going very well. I am on a six-week plan right now, and when I get back from my trip I go on an eight-week intensive program. Bob Comartin (CCA National Team Strength & Conditioning Specialist) set up an awesome program where I can train at home, and on my own time. Of course, some mornings it is hard to get out of bed to go for a run before I go to work, but then I remind myself: Olympic Gold.  And I look at my door where a Canadian flag has been hanging since I got home from Regina in April, and I pull myself out of bed and into my running shoes. I usually meet a few of my neighbours who are out for their morning walks, and they all comment on how hard I am training.

Aside from training and work, I am trying to be an average teenage girl enjoying her summer. And that’s all I really see myself as: a normal 17-year-old girl. People will ask me about training or the team every now and then, but other than that, I don’t really think about the Olympics. It hasn’t set in yet that I am on Team Canada, and that I am going to the Youth Olympics. In the fall it will probably start to set in more, as I will be seeing my team more frequently, but it’s hard to imagine myself as part of the ‘Olympic Scene’.

With Canada Day just passed,  my mother has been collecting absolutely everything she can that has a Maple Leaf or Canada on it.  Sometimes it’s slightly embarrassing to go to the Dollarama with her, and go up to the cashier with $30 worth of Canadian miscellaneous.  During the last trip she even threw an anniversary card into the mix!  The cashier will ask: “Stocking up for Canada Day are you?”, and Mom will just kind of look at me and smile and say: “No, my daughter’s actually going to the Youth Olympics so we’re getting a bunch of stuff to give away when we go to Austria.”

As I have said before, it is extremely hard for me to believe that this is my journey right now, and that this is my life.  I feel like I am excited for one of my teammates or friends to be going to the Youth Olympics, not myself.  Once the fall arrives, I think reality will start to set in very, very quickly, and I cannot wait!




About Emily Gray
Emily Gray is a 17 year old curler from the Maple Leaf Curling Club in O'Leary, PEI. She is also the Lead of Canada's Youth Olympic Curling Team and has been documenting her Team Canada journey.

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