This article is brought to you by the Canadian Olympic Foundation for the February 2018 edition of STRIVE.
Marco Schumann will be watching the Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang very closely. With the Games just days away, every Canadian can feel the Olympic excitement in the air.
For Marco, watching Team Canada’s short track speed skating team is an inspiration as he continues on his journey to be part of the Beijing 2022 team.
Marco is from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan – a place better known for its NHL greats like Gordie Howe than Olympic short track speed skaters. Thankfully, the Saskatoon Lions Speed Skating Club allowed Marco to gain a strong foundation in his sport, one that set him up on the path to achieving his Olympic dreams.
Marco decided to give speed skating a try at the young age of 4. Right away a fire was lit inside him and he knew that this wasn’t just a hobby, this was something he wanted to do for the long haul. Not only did he find it fun, but he quickly found out he was exceptionally good at it. The goal of becoming an Olympian was born.
The solid support he was given by trainers in Saskatoon allowed him to excel even further in his sport and soon he made the move to Calgary where he currently lives and trains. This helped him to develop his skills even further in short track and prepare for larger competitions, including his first ever World Junior Championship in 2017 where he was the top Canadian overall.
Training for his sport is a full-time job. He spends his mornings on the ice, along with strength training and sometimes a second training session in the afternoon. On top of that, he’s finishing up his last year of high school before heading to university, where he’s hoping to pursue a career in math.
Often described as determined, Marco will still be training diligently as he takes on his new post-secondary endeavor. He knows it will be a tough balance but he’s a driven individual.
Speaking of challenges, it’s not easy moving away from home when you’re so young. There’s a significant financial burden that comes with moving to a new city and a new province. Marco is responsible for paying for all of his living costs in Calgary. Pursuing a career in speed skating means he must find the funding for club fees, ice time, coaching, equipment and travel expenses when he’s away at competitions.
Support from donors like you are what keep Marco going. You help to diminish the amount of money he has to pay out of pocket so he can continue to focus on his sport and not think about whether he has to forfeit his Olympic dreams. It allows him to have a clear state of mind that his path to the podium is a huge goal that is actually achievable. You are the reason Marco can continue on and become an Olympian.
Our Olympians compete for our country, so we all feel united through sport. When they win, we cheer and share in the moment; it’s a win for our country on the world stage. Marco is on track to compete in 2022 and can’t wait for you to share his moment in front of the world.