I was originally born in Denver but moved to Calgary right before grade school. I came from a sports family. My dad played on the Edmonton Eskimos and took home some grey cups for the city. At the age of 10, I found the sport of luge at a recruitment camp at Canada Olympic Park. Fast forward 8 years and I am competing at the Olympics in Sochi, Russia. After Sochi, I made the choice to move to Lake Placid, NY and try my hand in the robust American program. Unfortunately, my Olympic dreams fell short in the 2018 Olympic trials. Since then, I have relocated back to Canada and I am finishing my commerce degree in Victoria.

1. It’s Sunday morning, what are you most likely to be doing today?

When I was training and going to university, I didn’t realize how exhausted I constantly was. That said, I’ve got my sleep schedule back under control. On weekends, I wake up early, make breakfast, and then study. 

Since I moved to Vancouver Island, I decided I needed a new hobby. I joined a rowing team when I got there. I’ve been fortunate to be able to row on the water every weekend since September. I genuinely don’t think there’s a better way to enjoy nature.

2. If you didn’t do what you do for a living, what would you love to do?

This is the first season that I’ve spent in a classroom instead of on the track. I made it to a few races to cheer on my old teammates. In an ideal world, I would love to come back to racing. But, that’s a long road (paved with gaining back 20 lbs of muscle).

3. What music is on your playlist when at the gym or keeping active?

I oscillate between high energy pop (Kim Petras, Sofi Tukker, and Dua Lipa etc.) to really dramatic show tunes (imagine The Greatest Showman).  Just never any country… or metal. I was rarely allowed to play music during team workouts.

4. If we were to peek in your gym bag right now, what would we find?

My gym bag is a huge source of stress for me. It’s always a mess. I have yet to find a bag that keeps all my things organized. Maybe it’s me. There’s loose ibuprofen, spilled protein powder, therapy bands, a skipping rope I have used maybe twice, and my comically high-heeled lifting shoes.

5. What’s your favourite memory about representing Canada in your sport?

Two moments made me proud to wear the maple leaf:

  • My first world championships in Whistler. I got to hold the flag and walk out during the opening ceremonies with my whole team behind me. I think that was the race where I delivered what I felt I’m capable of.
  • The second moment happened completely off the field of play. In the summer of 2014, Team Canada march in the world pride parade in Toronto. I was so proud that I got the invite. At that moment, I truly felt like I was part of Team Canada. Seeing all of the current and retired athletes coming together to make a statement like that makes me so very proud to be a Canadian Olympian. I often refer to that day as the best day I’ve ever had.

6. Where is your dream vacation destination?

I really want to go hiking through Switzerland in the summer. Give me a week, a backpack, and some vague directions– and I’ll be a happy cat.

7. If we’re buying, you’re having…

Brunch food– in general. I have spent an irresponsible amount of money on eggs benedict.

8. What is at the top of your bucket list?

I want to travel through Israel. I think it’s such a different part of the world from what I am used to.

9. What is your favourite TV show?

Ohhh, I have a few. None of them are stimulating and they’re all pretty shameful. Right now, I would have to say Season 2 of 90 Day Fiancé. My Strange Addiction, Super Size vs Super Skinny are also up there. Pretty much any show on TLC…

10. What is your favourite way to stay fit and healthy?

Luge is a gravity sport, which meant I had to be heavier than my natural set weight. I raced at +/- 200lbs and I sit naturally around 180lbs. Because I had to lift and eat so much– I was really put off by the gym. Now that I’m a little removed from training for the Olympics, I see fitness in a different way. I am a huge advocate for functional strength and range of motion. I like anything that challenges my mind-body connection and doesn’t overload the joints. I think rowing has really helped me grow as an athlete.

Photo credit Jérémie Battaglia

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