COLORADO SPRINGS — Last year when the Tokyo summer games were postponed, 2018 Discovery Canyon grad Lauren Gale was chasing an Olympic dream. A year later, the now CSU Ram is representing her native Canada in the 4×400 meter relay.
Growing up, Gale said she always gravitated towards the track.
“As a child I played a whole bunch of different sports, but track kind of stuck because I seemed to be a little bit faster than everyone even at a young age.”
Initially, Gale said her goal was to run at the Division I level, and admits she thought the Olympics were out of reach, but by her sophomore year at CSU, her times proved otherwise.
“I was probably 8th in Canada at that point or even lower and I was like maybe there’s stills a shot,” Gale said looking back at her 2020 season. “Then [the Olympics] got delayed a year and after that I started running faster and dropping time… Then I realized there was a decent shot of me going for the [4×400 meter] relay.”
Because of COVID, Canada did make athletes participate in Olympic Trials, instead athletes were selected by world ranking and fastest times. This June, Gale ran the 400 meter in 51.96 seconds at the NCAA West Regional. The time marked a personal best and CSU school record, and was good enough to earn her a spot on the Canadian Olympic Track & Field team.
Gale was with her parents when she found out she made Team Canada.
“My jaw just kind of dropped and I was with my parents and they saw my jaw drop, looking at my screen on my phone and my mom’s like ‘did they send you something? Like what’s going on?’ and I was like ‘Yes, I made the team!’ And they both started yelling and saying yay and stuff like that, so it was good to be there with them celebrating.”
As if training for the Olympics isn’t a big enough task on its own, at just 21 years old Gale is still in school taking summer classes.
“It’s been crazy so far,” she said. “I wake up super early and then it’s just go, go, go for the day with practice and weights and I do a little bit of school. I have an exam later today to do, then I do interviews now like I’m doing and stuff like that, so it’s just go, go, go from the start at 8 a.m., so it’s busy, but it’s good.”
While it may be hectic, she’s soaking up what this opportunity has to offer.
“I’ve always gotten to watch [the Olympics] on TV and now I get to be there and see it in person and see all these great competitors because they are the best in the world and I get to watch them now, so it’s going to be super exciting,” Gale said. “I”ve never been to Japan, so I’m excited to see how the culture is different there and it should overall be super cool.”