Being born with Type 1 diabetes and suffering from asthma hasn’t stopped Jinaye Shomachuk from becoming an elite athlete.
The 15-year-old Grade 10 student finished first in the hammer throw and discus and fifth in shotput for her age group at Nationals last year. She holds numerous provincial records and has several Canadian records for throwing events in her sights.
Her coach, Rachel Andres, says Shomachuk has the potential to make the Canadian Senior National team in just three or four years.
Shomachuk doesn’t pretend that her health issues don’t affect her, but she is matter of fact about them.
“(Diabetes) doesn’t hinder what I can do, but it makes it a bit more of a challenge,” she said, explaining while competing in the shotput event at Nationals, her blood sugars crashed.
Despite her challenges, Shomachuk has the short-term goal of breaking the Canadian record for the weight throw and long-term goal of competing at the Olympics.
She doesn’t neglect her studies either, and hopes to have a career in the sciences or math.
Practicing up to 10 hours each week, balancing school and athletics can be difficult, but like most challenges, Shomachuk embraces this one head on.
“For me, both school and track are important, but school comes first,” she says.