Saskatoon's Clark looks to improve on silver medal at the Beijing Olympics

·3 min read
Saskatoon's Emily Clark will compete in her second Olympics in February. (Derek Leung/Getty Images - image credit)
Saskatoon's Emily Clark will compete in her second Olympics in February. (Derek Leung/Getty Images - image credit)

Emily Clark is going back to the Beijing Olympics.

The Saskatoon athlete was one of the 23 players named to Canada's Olympic women's hockey team.

Clark, who also competed in the 2018 games where Canada won silver, is the only skater from Saskatchewan to make the team.

She spoke with Saskatoon Morning's Leisha Grebinski on Wednesday morning.

Here is part of their conversation, edited for length and clarity:

Grebinski: What was going through your mind when you heard your name called as a member of the Olympic team?

Clark: Oh, it's crazy how many thoughts you can have cross your mind in such a short period of time. A lot of excitement, a lot of relief, gratitude, all that.

Mostly you just want to get to share it with your loved ones right away. I was at home when I found out, so I was able to celebrate with my family right away and that was pretty special.

Does it take you back to when you were just starting out on this journey?

Yeah, definitely. I posted an Instagram yesterday after the announcement with a photo I took in my first Olympic jersey with my name and everything on it. And then one of the first hockey photos I ever had skating at the [University of Saskatchewan's] Rutherford Arena.

One of the best parts about this thing is getting to inspire the next generation. I think it's pretty cool that you can show or tell stories that you were just that little kid skating at the U of S Huskie camp.

Dave Holland/CSI Calgary
Dave Holland/CSI Calgary

How old were you in the photo?

I believe I was three. Maybe four. I had five older siblings that played hockey, so I think I got a little bit of a head start.

What have the last couple of years been like, trying to play hockey and prepare for these games?

It's definitely been a bit of a roller-coaster.

In the women's hockey world, there's definitely been a lot of ups and downs in the last four years since the last Olympics. So just being willing to adapt, whether there are leagues going up and down or the different amount of national team games you can get in.

It's just a matter of staying motivated, staying focused, but definitely being willing to adapt and do things differently sometimes.

I keep hearing how for the athletes, the No. 1 priority right now is to not get COVID. What are you doing to stay healthy between now and the games?

We're really limiting our time in the public. Just a lot of time at home and at the rink.

So you played in the 2018 Olympics and lost in the gold medal game. How do you think that experience will help you this time around?

It took a long time, I think, coming to terms with that loss or to use it as an advantage. Obviously I'm still very grateful to have an Olympic silver medal, but in our sport our goal was the gold medal.

Going into this one, I think just having a lot less fear, not being scared to lose but being excited at the thought of winning.

The Beijing Olympics begin Feb. 4.

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