Dacia Gramlick went to her first Alberta Summer Games with nothing more than a desire to do her best and enjoy the experience, and in achieving those two goals came home with seven gold medals and several personal bests.
Gramlick, a track and field athlete who got her start at William E. Hay Composite High School, where she’ll start Grade 12 in the fall, started competing at the club level earlier this year.
After securing her place on the Alberta Summer Games track and field team at the Caltaf qualifying meet, it was all about practicing and preparing herself for the event.
“It was very exciting,” Gramlick said. “I was excited that I got picked to be part of the experience. I kept hearing about the Alberta Winter Games from a friend, and the Summer Games from those in the club.”
The event, hosted in Airdrie from July 25-27, “lived up to the hype,” Gramlick revealed.
“We had the opening ceremony on Thursday,” she said. “We went to the track and the grass, and there was music and a stage. There were speeches, and a torch run had taken place that day so the torch bearer came and lit the cauldron. It was pretty cool.”
Gramlick competed in the heptathlon, which consists of seven track and field events. She competed in the 100m hurdles, the 200 and 800 metre springs, high and long jumps, shot put and javelin.
Though Gramlick had done well this season both in the club and through school, she knew that going into the Summer Games she would be competing against the best athletes Alberta had to offer. She went in looking to have fun before anything else.
“I did quite awesome,” she admitted with a chuckle.
“Awesome” consists of first place in every single event in which she competed as well as several personal best results.
“I guess I did the ‘Go big or go home’ thing,” she said.
Despite using a heavier-than-normal javelin, she achieved a personal best throw in the sport.
She also got a personal best in both sprints, and since she had never competed in the 100m hurdles before – previously she had competed in 80m – she scored a best time.
The closest competition in the heptathlon came in a whopping 1,044 points behind her, which means that Gramlick didn’t just do well, she devastated the competition.
For Gramlick, this is just the start. In August, she heads to Langley, B.C. for the nationals, where she’ll compete against the best Canada has to offer. She’ll fly in on Aug. 13 and head home on Aug. 19.
From there, she’s got a final year of high school before she heads to college, where she said she wishes to study music – and join a track team. Even now, she’s been bitten by the Olympic dream.
“The Olympics are a major goal in life,” she said. “I’ll have to put in so much time, training, and effort to get there, though.”
Right now, she’s savouring her success, and the experience.
“I didn’t know what to expect,” she said. “But it was an amazing experience, and I was able to meet so many other athletes.”