Monday, August 26th
COLCHESTER, VT --
Vermonters have just seen two of their own, weightlifter Carissa Gump, a native of Essex and track athlete Andrew Wheating of Norwich, take part in the Summer Olympics. The next Summer Games are in 2012, and another young local athlete is working toward an Olympic dream.
Two years ago, we introduced you to then 14-year old archer Emily Blake of Colchester. At the time, Blake was in the midst of an over two year unbeaten streak and had just been selected as part of a Junior Dream Team of 24 young archers to make a trip to the National Training Center in Chula Vista, California.
Now, Blake, who just turned 16 earlier this month, is coming off a summer where she finished second in both the National Target Championships and the World Junior Trials. That finish in the Trials resulted in Emily being chosen as one of 24 girls and boys to represent the U-S in the Junior Worlds which will be held over the first two weeks of October in Turkey. She's ready for the competition, but not quite as ready for the culture clash.
"I got this little book that tells you how to say 'I'm allergic to nuts' and I want this food or that food. Reading the book, it said there's sheep's brain soup or salad or something like that. That's kind of gross, so I'll just stick to chicken.", jokes Blake.
The excitement for Emily doesn't stop there. Earlier this month, Blake found out that she has been selected as one of ten full time resident athletes for the archery program at the National Training Center in Chula Vista, which is near San Diego.
She will begin her year-long stint in California on September 1st. Blake will be training six to seven hours a day and going to classes in the evening. It's a daunting schedule, but one Blake says she's looking forward to. Emily says she's ready to put the work in to reach her goal, representing the U-S in the 2012 Summer Games in London.
"I think that winning my way, my spot on the world team, gave me more confidence than before. Because now I will get to compete against people that will be there in London. I'm excited for that and this training that's coming up, I want to get there. That's been my push ever since I started. Training outside in the cold and when it's hot and when it's buggy out, that's been my push the whole time."
--- Mike McCune
PO Box 4508