Lauren Gale, Canadian Olympic Track and Field Team.
âI’m going to put it on my Instagram bio, on my resume when I apply to dental hygiene school,â said Gale, 21, noting that these schools are difficult to access. “Maybe that will help, I don’t know.”
The former Discovery Canyon student, who just finished her junior year at Colorado State, is heading to the Tokyo Games as part of the 4×400-meter relay team.
Gale and his parents had coffee on his porch in Fort Collins in early July 3 as they waited for the life-changing email from Athletics Canada, but Gale’s former track club, the Lions d ‘Ottawa, beat him with a Tweet. Gale was the youngest member of Canada’s track and field team.
Gale’s time of 51.96 put her firmly in contention before Rio Olympian Alicia Brown tied her at the 2021 Olympic Trials. Brown handed in a 51.82 later in June, casting minor doubts on the inclusion of Gale.
She is due to leave for Japan on Saturday.
âTo have to compete on the biggest stage of the biggest track event possible – that’s crazy,â said Gale. “I still can’t believe it.”
Gale was always the one chasing the ball down the field in youth football, giving her parents the idea to try athletics. Years later, at an indoor competition, they cheered on Lauren after what they thought was a good 400-yard run, but other spectators saw more.
âAfter all, everyone looked at us and said, ‘Wow, this is a really good time,’â her mother Lisa said. âWe didn’t even know what a good time was, but apparently for that age it was super fast.
âWe thought, ‘We need to look at this a bit further. “”
Lauren’s father’s work as a Canadian Army Engineer took him to Peterson Air Force Base and family in Colorado Springs for six years. Lauren arrived at Discovery Canyon in 2015. In 2016 and 2018, on both sides of hip surgery, she won the 100, 200 and 400-meter state races in 4A. She was named Gazette Preps Female Peak Performer of the Year in 2017-18.
Lauren tried out international competition at the 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games, where she competed in the 200 meters and 400 meters for Team Canada. After graduating from high school, she competed in the 200 at the 2018 IAAF World Under-20 Championships.
âI love Canada and I love representing them. I still claim it as my home even though I’ve been here for a few years now, âLauren said.
âBut it’s always good to be able to display a Ram sign in other places. It’s cool to be able to represent them both.
She set school records in the indoor and outdoor 400 this season. She finished 13th in the NCAA West prelims on May 29, with a place to qualify for the NCAA Championships. It was a good enough time for Team Canada.
She had hoped to attend the trials, but crossing the border in Montreal from June 24-27 required a two-week quarantine. A strange season, full of mask mandates and canceled meetups, had required a creative solution – times and world rankings were factored in, Lauren said.
Lauren’s own dental hygienist’s work will be on display when she visits the stage at Tokyo Olympic Stadium.
His parents, preparing for a move across the country, will try to install their TVs as soon as they arrive. If that doesn’t get sorted out quickly, they’ll be them at a Washington DC sports bar telling everyone who their daughter is.
âShe can go against the best in the world,â Lisa said.
“We’re so proud it’s crazy.”
One day, the gloved hands in your mouth might belong to an Olympian.
âIf I can help build people’s confidence, then my job is done,â Lauren said.
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