From Wheel 2 Heal to the world stage for Coquitlam bike racer
The last time Jasmin Glaesser took part in the Wheel 2 Heal fundraiser, she was a 17-year-old cyclist with dreams of one day competing in the Olympics.
That was in 2010 and, since then, she has accomplished her goal, winning bronze in the team pursuit event in London in 2012 and planning for a repeat trip to the Games in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Today, the Coquitlam athlete is a Wheel 2 Heal ambassador, encouraging people to support the Eagle Ridge Hospital Foundation’s annual ride.
“It’s a great cause,” she said. “A big focus is on promoting cycling and participation… so hopefully lots of people take part.”
Glaesser was new to the Canadian national team when she went to the London Summer Games in 2012. Her international experience was limited to the world championships in Melbourne, where she won silver in the team pursuit and bronze in the points race. The Terry Fox secondary school graduate also won a gold at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico in 2011 in the team pursuit.
“It all came very fast,” she said. “I was very fortunate to be there for the win in London. I think at the time, it was overwhelming just to be part of all of it.”
The experience will go a long way toward bolstering her chances of having a good showing in Rio in two years.
If she is fortunate to get back to the Games, she said she will have a better idea of what to expect and plans on taking time to enjoy the process of competing.
“Obviously, I’m hoping to get there in the first place,” she said. “Going into Rio, that is my biggest thing. Being there is a result of four years of hard work.”
These days, Glaesser spends most of her time between training and studying at Simon Fraser University, where she is earning her bachelor’s degree in computer science.
Her schedule does not leave much room for socializing and she is constantly on the road competing, most recently in Colombia, where she won two medals with the national team.
In fact, on May 3, the day Wheel 2 Heal is taking place, Glaesser is expected to be at an event in California.
Still, she’ll be there in spirit and said the Eagle Ridge Hospital Foundation is an important organization for the Tri-Cities and that she hoped many people would attend the ride.
“It is not just about being active,” she said. “It is about a community coming together and partaking in an event for a good cause together.”
• For more information go to www.wheeltoheal.ca.