The Journal Pioneer
SUMMERSIDE — Heather Moyse carried the Olympic flame through her hometown last weekend, and now she’s setting her sights on following the flame to Vancouver.
The 31-year-old bobsledder narrowly missed out on a bronze medal with driver Helen Upperton at the 2006 Olympics in Torino, Italy.
The Summerside native is in the midst of an eight-race tour through the United States and Europe, which will determine her fate in 2010.
Moyse said she’ll find out after the seventh race whether she’ll be a brake person for a Canadian driver in the Olympics.
“I think it will be even more amazing to go this year because the Olympics are in Canada and in front of the people I do this for,” Moyse said at the torch relay ceremony in Summerside. “It’s really rare that you get to go to the Olympics at home and it would be an honour.
“It’s a pretty emotional topic for me because I want to make people proud and I want to put where I’m from on the map.”
Moyse is vying for an Olympic spot along with two other world-class brakers, Jenny Ciochetti of Edmonton, and Shelley-Ann Brown of Pickering, Ont.
This year is slightly different, however, because the Canadian team has the opportunity to qualify three sleds for Vancouver. If that happens, none of the three brakers will be cut.
Moyse said choosing a braker is subjective to the sledders’ chemistry with the driver, something she’s been feeling with Calgary’s Kaillie Humphries, 24.
“We shattered the start record together in Park City, Utah, and we just push so well together,” said Moyse. “The race we just had (in Lake Placid, N.Y.), we tied the push start record there and we ended up with a bronze medal.
“It’s hard to directly compare braking when you’re working with different drivers. I just have to do my job and push as well as I can every race.
“I’m just going to take it one run at a time because it’s even more stressful to think about the long term.”
Shortly after the Torino Games, Moyse took time off to earn her masters degree and injured her shoulder the following year.
But if she does realize her Olympic dream for the second time, Moyse feels she’s better prepared this time around.
“The year after I did my masters I was really tired and the season looked OK on paper, but it wasn’t the greatest,” Moyse said. “I’ve had a few injuries I was dealing with over the summer, but the first race of the season felt great and I finally feel like I’m back to what I was at the last Olympic season, only with a little more training and a little more substance behind it.”