[originally published at
Journalist | National Skeleton Team
Hometown: Brandon, Manitoba
For Cassie Hawrysh, failing is part of the process. “ As an athlete, failing is very very important. We get pretty fixated on the idea that success is a gold medal. This is not the case. It is important to recognize and understand what it is like to fail and realize that everyone around us is doing it too. Without failures, successes don’t feel amazing. Failures are the keys that point us in the right direction.”
Former National Skeleton Racer, Cassie Hawrysh describes her athletic career as being a result of circumstances. The athlete acknowledges that when something happened in her life she had to reevaluate what she was working on and go with her instinct. “ When circumstances occurred, I had to negotiate with myself what I wanted. I would always take a look at the situation, listen to my heart and go with my instinct. I still practice this today”.
Cassie grew up surrounded by athletics. She recalls skating with her dad as young as three. She reminisces about attending summer camp in Southern Manitoba which was where her love of athletics blossomed. “ I attended the legion athletic summer camp in Southern Manitoba. I was an only child and going to camp by myself was a little daunting. Although it was daunting, the camp is one of my favorite memories. It is where I met some of my best friends who are still my best friends to this day.
It was at camp where Cassie was introduced to volleyball. She continued to play volleyball competitively until her second year of university where circumstances introduced her to the world of track and field. After developing a passion for track and field and moving to Calgary, Hawrysh got “tricked into skeleton.”
“ My track and field training group asked me if I wanted to train with skeleton athletes. I said sure, and the next thing I knew I was trying the sport and sliding on the ice.” She said. It only took three years, and Cassie Hawrysh was named a member of Canada’s National Skeleton team. Cassie acknowledges that this is one of her biggest accomplishments.
“ As a professional skeleton racer with my helmet on I could always hear my mom’s voice. No matter how big or how loud the crowd was I could hear her voice. This was so important during this time in my life because it made me believe in myself even more. My mom and dad were always and continue to be the most supportive people in my life”
A supportive family is who Cassie leaned on throughout her childhood. “ I wish I could tell myself that you are enough. When you’re 12, you start doubting the way you are transforming into your personality. Everyone around you is going through different situations. It’s important to trust your instinct and push through whatever you want to achieve. It is easier to tell yourself this when you are younger because when you get older its harder to adopt this practice."
#IAMmendingthegap for every athlete who is brave enough to try. It doesn’t matter what sport. It doesn’t matter what gender. If you are stepping up to the starting line in athletics, it can be pretty scary. If you believe in yourself, then you can succeed.