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Ask Fem!

Emily

Dear Fem,
How can you do Olympic Trials if you have not been paddling? It doesn't seem like your training is very smart!
-Anonymous

Dear Anonymous,
That's a great question. Actually, I have been paddling in upstate NY-- I get out as much as I can when the waterways aren't frozen. (And when I don't have too much homework!) We upstate paddlers supplement paddling with cross-country skiing, kayak-erg workouts, and weightlifting. It's actually a really fun break from the intensive on-water work we do during the regular paddling season.

Unfortunately, in the USA, kayakers have little to no funding. In order to pay for training, travel, competitions, and the entire lifestyle, we have to find our own jobs and sponsorships. Based on the fact that the US women have 1 spot qualified for the London Olympics-and I was ranked 7th at our World Championships Team Trials in July 2011- I chose to train for the 2012 Olympic Trials in upstate NY so I could finish my college education at Geneseo. Without completing my undergraduate degree, I would never make enough money to continue in the sport for the next 4 years. It was a tough but necessary sacrifice that I made so that I could vie for a spot at the 2016 Olympic Games.

I will be proudly competing in the 2012 Olympic Trials knowing I trained the hardest I possibly could in a colder, northern climate while attending university full-time!