Most 21 year olds are concerned with enjoying college, hanging with their friends, and trying to find a job after school. But rarely are their sights set on the Winter Olympics.
Yet that is the goal of Jamie Lee, the Fort St. John short track speedskating product who now lives in Calgary. She is headed to the 2018 Winter Olympic tryouts in Montreal from August 12 to 20.
“I’m excited and looking forward to the experience, it will be a learning curve,” Lee said.
Lee isn’t sure how well she will do at the trials but really has her goals set on making the 2022 Olympics in Beijing. She is also committed to making the World Cup circuit.
Last year, she just missed making the cut for the national team and the Olympic trials, but this year she qualified 14th.
At the Olympic tryouts, each participant will have to race each distance of 150m, 500m and 1,000m three times. A skater’s top two finishes of each distance are taken in, and the skaters are ranked accordingly.
Lee is now focused on making the national team again, for which the tryouts are the first step. She will also be racing at the National Team Selections #1 in January and the National Team Selections #2 in March.
“I’m feeling really strong right now. I’m coming off those last two years where I had a season that I was off ice, struggling with stress fractures in both legs.” Lee said.
“My ultimate goal was just to make Olympic trials, which I’ve accomplished.”
Lee is training almost year round. Her season ended in March but she was back on the ice in April.
Lee started skating when she was three, and her brother Eric, who is seven years older than her, was put in the sport while playing hockey.
“I was put in it, fell in love, and my brother was the inspiration for it. Being able to travel all over the place was super fun,” Lee reflected.
In Grade 9, Lee was approached by coaches in Calgary and has skated full time there since graduating high school in 2014.
Lee is thankful for her coaches, parents and family who always support her.
“It’s not a cheap sport,” she said.
The trials take place in Montreal from August 12 to 20. The 2018 Winter Olympics take place Feb. 9 to 25 in PyeongChang, South Korea.