Your first reaction on being officially inducted to Canada’s Olympic team in 2016?
The 2016 Olympic trials was one of the hardest competitions I’ve done because of the extremely difficult weather conditions the day of. By the end of the competition I did not vault as well as I had hoped and had finished in 2nd place. I walked up to my dad crying and pissed off and he just laughed and said “I’ve never seen someone upset at making it to the Olympics”. That’s when I realized that I had just made the Olympic team.
A back injury ended your gymnastics career, but you stroke back as a pole vaulter. Today, you are second-ranked women’s vaulter behind Alysha Newman. How do you feel about this switch that you had to make?
When I was younger I was really short, gymnastics was my whole life. Within a year of my gymnastics career-ending back injury I grew about 6 inches and went from one of the shortest in my class to the tallest. Obviously I was just not meant to be a gymnast. But what had devastated me at the time turned out to be a blessing in disguise because it opened up the door to track and field which eventually became my entire life. I am so thankful; some things really do happen for a reason.
You are now also the Head Coach at Bayou Vault Club, what factors were instrumental towards this shift?
I’ve coached for many years and I love it. I love the connections I make with younger kids and watching them grow as people and as athletes. I always knew I wanted to have my own pole vault club so when the opportunity opened up I jumped on it. My kids even nicknamed me Momma Gator (our mascot is an alligator). Aside from my own vault career, those kids at my club are my life. I love each one of them and I honestly get more excited for their successes than my own.
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