Bison swimmer Kelsey Wog has been named the 2020 U-Sports female athlete of the year.
With this award, she becomes the first member of the University of Manitoba Bisons to receive it.
Wog undoubtedly had a year to remember. She won gold medals in the 50, 100 and 200-metre breaststroke events at the 2020 U-Sports Swimming Championships in Victoria, B.C.
Not only did she win, but she also set a U-Sport record in the 200-metre breaststroke.
Although Wog knows she has accomplished so much early in her career, she is excited for the future.
“I have been super happy with my career so far, but every time I accomplish something that I think I would be satisfied with, I want more, so I keep pushing,” Wog said.
“I never imagined that I would get to this level in sport, so each day it is really incredible.”
This kind of determination is not something that can be taught. It is rare and makes for the best of the best athletes.
But becoming a dominant athlete is not easy. It requires hard work and dedication.
Wog believes that a routine is something that has made her into the athlete she is today.
“A typical [pre-COVID-19] day looks like me waking up around 6:30 a.m. to get to the pool for 7:30 a.m. to start some activation and warmup,” Wog said.
Practice makes perfect and Wog has proved that time and time again.
“I would get into the pool and swim from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., go to class, then swim again around 12 p.m. for 45 minutes […] take a rest and eat lunch, then swim again around 3 p.m. for 45 minutes […] then go to weights and lift for an hour and a half,” she said.
“I would finish my day with a massage or some sort of recovery and go to bed early.”
Wog’s training may look different than other sports, but it is, arguably, a whole lot tougher.
“I do both swimming in the pool and weights,” she said. “We have a more intensity-based program where training is shorter but super high intensity, and I love it.”
Sport is something that is not only fun, but can also be meaningful in someone’s life and make them a better person.
“Sport has taught me so much,” Wog said.
“It has taught me about trust, patience and persistence. It has taught me so much about overcoming struggle and coming back stronger than before.”
Winning this award is a great honour. It not only represents Wog well, but also the U of M sport program.
“In my life, I have won a lot of awards, but this one is by far the most meaningful,” Wog said.
“I have really enjoyed my time on the Bisons and I am very proud of everything that I have been able to accomplish. I am proud of how I have been able to represent the university.”
With Wog’s power, determination and work ethic, the sky may be the limit for the young Bison athlete.
With uncertainty about when she will be competing next, Wog will wait for her next chance to claim first place and hopefully another prestigious award.
“My future plans are to graduate from university in May 2021 and I will keep swimming for as long as I am still enjoying it,” Wog said.
“Olympic trials are the main focus for next year, then hopefully the Olympics.”