Sacrifice is part of the Olympic gig. So is pain and heartbreak. Just ask the six Manitobans who will be the backbone of Canada’s 16-member Olympic speed skating team, a curious and historic feat in itself.
They all have different stories — from unknown newcomer Parrott to 37-year-old flag-bearer Clara Hughes — but one theme is universal: From early ages, by serendipity or design, they’ve all striven with a single-minded, unshakable desire to compete in their sport at the highest level.
Even if it meant leaving behind their family and friends at age 16. Even if it meant trying to recover from debilitating, career-threatening injury. Even if it meant a lifetime devoted to excruciating and grueling training regimens that one of them blithely described as "basically torture."
So they skate, even with a monk-like devotion where every life decision is made based on the following question: "Will it make me faster?"
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