With the 2020 junior olympics approaching in July through August, one of our own students, Jenell Berhorst, is preparing to compete in speed skating.
It is not easy to make it into the Youth Olympics, you need to be one of the best. When asked about the requirements to get into the Youth Olympics, Jenell Berhorst said, “First of all, you need to make it to the Youth Olympics. There are 2 distances, the 500 meter and the 1000 meter. The person who gets the most points for both gets in. The higher you place the more points you get.”
A lot of people competed to find out if they would make it into the youth olympics. Jenell told us, “My coach told me about the competition, and everyone went and skated, because it’s not something you want to miss.”
Since competing and practices take a lot of free time up, there are many of struggles that the athletes competing in the Youth Olympics face. Jenell replied, “I think my biggest struggle would be actually getting to practice because my parents struggle to actually get me there.” When asked how she got through it, she stated “Well, obviously my parents helped me get through it, and my coach is very understanding and gives me workouts I can do at home to help.”
Along with getting to practices on time, she also needs to make sure that she keeps on track with her school work so she can graduate on time. Mr. Gardner said, “The public school teachers that work with those students usually are really good about extending themselves and helping them out, getting them their assignments and kinda fuel their dream.”
When asked if there were any rules that the school had to follow since there was a student competing in the Youth Olympics, he responded with, “No, nothing like that, it gives the school a lot of pride that you have a student in your school that is doing really great things on top of all the other students, of course but there’s no rules, there’s no regulations about students who take time off to pursue other things.We had a hockey player at my other school they just know they have to reach the exact same standard as all the other students. Some are willing to take more time to do it. They just know they may not graduate in 4 years might take 5 years or 5 ½ years. But if they are willing to pursue a dream. They still have to do the work though”
Jenell offered advice to anyone who is interested in speed skating. She advised, “In the beginning it’s kinda hard to skate because you have to learn the technique. You want to go really fast, but the coaches always want you to go slow and learn the technique. So I would say to learn the technique first and then start going fast after that.” She also added, “Before I compete I like to calm down and just focus on the race, especially on the starting line. I just focus on the race and ignore distractions.”