Thursday, March 20, 2008

Grant’s sights set on Beijing

Grant’s sights set on Beijing
Modern pentathlete is working hard to achieve her goal
The Guardian

SUMMERSIDE — Stratford P.E.I.’s Kara Grant is well on her way to representing Canada at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games this summer in modern pentathlon.

“I’m working really hard,” Grant said in an interview Wednesday. “We’re in the home stretch. I have two more months left before the qualification period ends and I have several important events.”

Grant won a bronze medal in the World Cup competition 10 days ago. It was her first World Cup medal and a very significant factor in her Olympic qualification.

“That’s really good news for me and I’m in a very secure position for Olympic qualification,” she said. “It won’t be finalized until the end of May, after the world championships, which are taking place in Budapest. But I’m in a very secure position now and I have the confidence after this (bronze medal) result to go out there and get another result like that or even better.”

As a modern pentathlete, Grant competes in five disciplines — shooting, fencing, swimming, show jumping and running.

Competing in one Olympic event requires hours of training and sacrifice, but the Stratford native is involved in five separate competitions.

“I train about 35 hours a week right now and I average about four training sessions a day,” she said. “It could be anywhere from a shoot in the morning, followed by and hour-and-a-half swim, a break and then a riding lesson after lunch and a running session in the evening or sometimes a fencing session. I have a few other things I do such as strength training and things like that. It really keeps me busy and out of trouble.

Grant got involved in the competition through the Charlottetown Pony Club, which she said no longer exists.

“Hopefully, it will come back,” she said. “I did a lot of riding as I was growing up here on the Island and that was the real inspiration to me. I got involved in the tetrathlon, which is four sports. Then I heard about pentathlon and took up fencing.”

The competition opened a lot of doors for Grant and she took advantage of them.

“I realized that if I wanted to pursue that there would be an opportunity to perhaps compete nationally and internationally,” she said. “Then I realized perhaps I could compete in the Pan American Games and maybe the Olympics.”

She said her arrival at the Olympic level didn’t come overnight. It came through a series of steps along the way.

“I think that’s the thing people have to remember with striving for big goals,” she said. “It’s certainly possible. There are lots of steps along the way, and if you’re willing to make a plan and work hard, there are all kinds of opportunities available out there for people to do all kinds of things, whether that be high-performance sports or some other activity that really inspires them.”

Grant is not a newcomer to national and international competition and isn’t certain how many times she has competed.

“I don’t know (how many) to be honest,” she said. “I’ve been competing for 10 years. I’ve probably averaged between seven and 12 competitions a year. Probably in the range of between 80 and 100.”

A lot has been made of the poor air quality that exists in Beijing, but Grant doesn’t see that as a hindrance to her performance.

“It’s not really a big concern of mine at this point,” she said. “Of the five events, three of them will be indoors. The running is the only one that will be affected. We only run a three-kilometre (event) and we only compete once and three kilometres hopefully will be over in 10 minutes.”

Kara Grant's Website

1 comment:

Patrick said...

Righton! It's good to hear that someone close to you two is preparing for a fete of Olympic scale!