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Youth Olympics Journey: Summer training

Karlee Burgess is a 17-year-old curler from Nova Scotia who will compete for Canada at the 2016 Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway, next February. This story is the second in a series as Karlee shares her experiences on the road to the Youth Olympic Games.

Karlee writes:

Since the last time I wrote I’ve completed Grade 11 and begun my senior year. Where has the time gone?

In July, the team traveled to the National Training Centre at the Saville Community Sports Centre in Edmonton, Alta. That weekend of training was phenomenal!

Team Canada Youth Olympians Sterling Middleton and Karlee Burgess work on sweeping technique at the National Training Centre in Edmonton, Alta. (Photo by H. Radford)

Team Canada Youth Olympians Sterling Middleton and Karlee Burgess work on sweeping technique at the National Training Centre in Edmonton, Alta. (Photo by H. Radford)

One of the highlights was having the opportunity to listen and learn from Rob Krepps, Head Coach at the National Training Centre. We (teammates Mary Fay, Tyler Tardi and Sterling Middleton) had such a blast getting to meet him. He is beyond amazing with all his curling knowledge. We gained a tremendous amount of information from him over the course of just one weekend, and we know that these few days with Rob will help us build the Youth Olympics team we dream of being.

During the Edmonton training weekend we got to learn from Canada’s best. Kalynn Park and Charley Thomas (Canadian Mixed Doubles champions) gave us tips about mixed doubles, because the Youth Olympics competition wraps up with a mixed doubles event. We really appreciated their help.

We also met Nolan Theissen (2015 Brier champion and World bronze medalist), who showed us different ways to improve our sweeping and helped us with putting more weight on the broom. It was super cool to sit down with him and hear about his experiences and what he does to help his team become the best in the world.

We also had a visit from Thomas Scoffin (current Canadian university champion from the University of Alberta) who talked about his experience at the 2012 Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck, Austria, which was amazing and made me even more excited to experience that opportunity. He also helped us with communication on the ice and I know we will benefit from the information he shared.

Lastly I can’t thank Kyle Paquette (Sport Psychology and IST Program Lead for the National Team Program) enough for such a great session we had with him. I enjoy learning from him and everything he does for our team in mental training is much appreciated.

Thomas Scoffin, Canadian University champion and 2012 Youth Olympics bronze medalist, visited the team to offer tips on competing at the Youth Olympic Games  (Photo H. Radford)

Thomas Scoffin, Canadian University champion and 2012 Youth Olympics bronze medalist, visited the team to offer tips on competing at the Youth Olympic Games (Photo H. Radford)

And now, meet my Youth Olympics teammates:

Tyler Tardi is 17 years old and lives in Surrey, BC.

He started curling when he was eight years old. His father got him into the sport of curling. Some of his highlights are making the Youth Olympic Team, winning a Bronze Medal at the Canada Winter Games in 2015, and representing B.C. at two Mixed Doubles nationals.

Favourite curler : Niklas Edin

What he wants to do when he is older: Entrepreneur so he can curl more.

Favourite quote: “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul”

One word to describe himself: Driven

Mary Fay is 17 years old and lives in Chester, N.S. She started curling when she was eight years old. She started curling because she watched her older brother play when she was little and fell in love with the game. She has captured an U18 Atlantic Championship, won a Bronze and also placed fourth at the M&M Meat Shops Canadian Juniors, and won the silver medal at the 2015 Canada Games. She also enjoys school, playing the piano and any other recreational sports.

What she wants to do when she’s older: Sports medicine.

Favourite quote: “The harder u fall the higher u bounce”

One word to describe herself: Perfectionist

Sterling Middleton is 16 years old and lives in Fort St. John, B.C. He started curling when he was 10 years old. He started curling because he wanted to try something new and different and thought curling looked cool. Some of his highlights are making the Youth Olympic Team and winning the bronze medal at the Canada Winter Games in 2015. He enjoys golf and music.

Favourite curler: Marc Kennedy

What he wants to do when he is older: Muscle therapy or something sports related

One word to describe himself: Competitive

Karlee Burgess (me!) is 16 years old and lives in Truro, N.S. I started curling when I was six years old. I started because everyone in my family had a curling background so it was a no-brainer that I would have curling in my life. I captured an U18 Atlantic Championship, won a Bronze and also placed fourth at the M&M Meat Shops Canadian Juniors, and won the silver medal at the 2015 Canada Games. I also enjoy soccer, track and field, and spending time with family and friends.

Favourite curler: Glenn Howard

What I want to do when I’m older: Kinesiology

Favourite quote: “Good things come to those who wait. But better things come to those who work for it.”

One word to describe myself: Determined

Finally, the glue that holds the team together:

Helen Radford started curling because her sister Mary Sue introduced her into the sport. She is very family oriented, loves to travel, enjoys working with people and has fun learning new things. She also enjoys outside activities, yoga, sports with her daughter, and spending time at her cottage.

Favourite quote: “The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.”

Read Karlee’s first Youth Olympics Journey story here: The Journey Begins

Team Canada: Tyler Tardi, Mary Fay, coach Helen Radford, Stirling Middleton, Karlee Burgess (Photo courtesy H. Radford)

Team Canada: Tyler Tardi, Mary Fay, coach Helen Radford, Sterling Middleton, Karlee Burgess (Photo courtesy H. Radford)