For a high end athlete here in the north, you don’t get the same advantages as you would elsewhere, training is less geared toward specific individuals, meaning if you want to keep up with the athletes from down south, you have to step up your game.
For 16-year-old speedskating star Wren Acorn, that’s not a problem. The young yellowknifer who was the first ever recipient of the Robin Mercer-Sproule’s Junior Female athlete of the year award said that being a northern athlete has not hampered her in any way, in fact it has made her stronger.
“I think, to perform at a high level skating or in any sport really, coming from a small place, you really have to be diligent, you have to train on your own after hours. So I think I developed that strong work ethic on my own, and like trying to keep up with people down south and I would train alone in my basement.”
However there is one big advantage being from the north, the community support is neverending. For Acorn has been something she could always rely on when needed.
“They are willing to go the extra mile to support their own. I remember when I was gearing up for the 2019 Canada winter games and I decided, hey, I think I need a little bit more time on ice. I had the three sessions a week on ice, but I was wanting a little bit more and Darryl Snow at the multiplex went sure, we’ll get you some extra ice every Wednesday morning.”
Acorn, who now trains in Calgary, is forging her own path to greatness as she was recently named to the national short-track speed skating development squad and as you would expect, Yellowknife continues to support her.
“It seemed like the entire Yellowknife community actually reached out to congratulate me. It was so awesome.”
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