Ponoka Elementary adopts Olympic speed skater

PES students, dressed in red, were given a special visit Nov. 18 from 21-year-old Jessica Gregg, an Edmontonian on her way to the Vancouver 2010 Olypmics

Jessica Gregg

By Jasmine Franklin

“Go Jessica go,” Ponoka Elementary students chanted. “Go Jessica go!”

PES students, dressed in red, were given a special visit Nov. 18 from 21-year-old Jessica Gregg, an Edmontonian on her way to the Vancouver 2010 Olypmics.

“Everyone needs to make stepping stones to achieve your goals,” Gregg said. “Enjoy what you do, and do it because it’s fun.”

Gregg has been “adopted” by the school through the national “Adopt an Athlete” program. With the program, the schools raise funds for training and in exchange, students are updated on the Olympian’s journey through emails and learn to contribute to their communities at an early age.

“My dream goal has always been to reach the Olympics from the time I was a little girl,” Gregg said. “I fell in love with the sport — the competition, the speed and the travelling.”

With her record time of 43.29 seconds for 500 metres in short-track speed skating, this Albertan speed skater started comes from a long line of Olympic athletes.

Her mom, Kathy Gregg, went to the Olympics in 1976 and 1980 in long-track speed skating, and her father, Randy, played on the Canadian Olympic hockey team in 1980 where her parents met. Her father went on to play for the Edmonton Oilers.

But Gregg began her speed skating career at age five in Edmonton. As she grew older she began skating locally, eventually moved up to competing around the province. By age 13 she was competing across Canada and at 16 made the junior short track team, travelling to Serbia where she won a bronze medal in the 500 metre race.

Her days are consumed with ice and speed.

Training twice a day, six days per week this young athlete tries to lead a balanced life while obtaining her studies in kinesiology at the University of Calgary.

But the winter of 2010 will mark an important part of this young woman’s life. She will follow in the footsteps of her Olympic family while try to break her way through to the top.

“I was kind of expecting to go,” Gregg said. “I was ranked first in Canada, but it was still a huge surprise and honor.”

Students at the school felt just as honored to have Gregg in their gymnasium. After a question and answer period between Gregg and classroom representatives, it was discovered her favorite store is Lululemon and she sharpens her skates before every run.

The school presented Gregg with a Team Canada shirt and will continue to fundraise to support her.

Gregg is expected to return to the school after her Olympic experience.

Just Posted

Former Ponoka CAO paid out $90,000 in settlement

The matter has been completed with three cheques sent out in town vs CAO claim

Ponoka town council pay to rise 15% on non-taxable portion in 2019

Council unanimously passes pay hike to make up for income tax change

Ponoka County dumps rezoning application by recycling operation

Third time no charm for Morningside property attempt to rezone for business use

Fan support was strong at Ponoka high school basketball games

Ponoka Secondary Campus Broncs boys and girls ended up defeating the St. Augustine Kings and Queens

Ponoka business places in top three of regional marketing challenge

Torch and Teal owner pleasantly surprised with the recognition

Story of the Year: Deadly Humboldt Broncos bus crash

The Canadian Press annual survey of newsrooms across the country saw 53 out of 129 editors cast their votes for the Humboldt Broncos bus crash.

Privacy watchdog says legal cannabis buyers should use cash, not credit

Some countries could bar entry to individuals if they know they have purchased cannabis

‘A start:’ Alberta critical of Ottawa’s $1.6B package for ailing energy sector

A further $150 million is to be used for clean growth and infrastructure projects

Two-year-old attacked by cougar near Mission, B.C.

Boy not seriously injured in incident on Monday afternoon

Trump signs order to create US Space Command

President Donald Trump signs an executive order to create a U.S. Space Command.

Groups preparing new pipeline legal challenge, argue government’s mind made up

A Vancouver-based environment charity is readying itself to go back to court if the federal government reapproves the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

Notorious Toronto triple killer gets third consecutive life sentence

Dellen Millard gets third consecutive life sentence for father’s death.

‘Subdued’ housing market predicted in B.C. through 2021: report

The Central 1 Credit Union report predicts “rising but subdued sales” over the next three years, with little movement in median home prices.

A journey through 2018’s top pop culture moments

Was there any pop culture this year? Of course there was.

Most Read