Mackenzie Adams of Kelowna makes her Team Canada skeleton debut

At 19, Adams joined the national team after just two years of playing the sport.

A love of adrenaline and speed is what helped Kelowna’s Mackenzie Adams make the Canadian national skeleton team just two years after entering the sport.

At just 19 years old, Adams made his national team debut at the North American Cup in Lake Placid, New York on Saturday, November 1. 18.

Coming from a hockey and speed skating background, Adams was approached to try skeleton and the sport clicked with her.

“I was a speed skater and was going to the trails in the Kamloops area and the coach decided he wanted me to try [skeleton] on the track,” Adams told Capital News. “We went to Whistler for a week-long program where they teach you the basics of sled driving and from there it snowballed.”

“I started in hockey, then I went to speed skating and I was like, ‘It’s really fast, it’s really cool, I like it,’ and then I moved on to what’s even more fast. It’s a lot of fun to reach these speeds,” said Adams, who once reached 130 kilometers per hour in a race.

The Kelowna native has risen through the ranks, starting in the sport just two years ago at the age of 17, and is now on the national team at 19. She had to travel to Whistler often for training and was there for three weeks as part of the final test for the national team. During this time, participants will only have two or three races per day. After the trials, she returned home to Kelowna and waited for the news.

“Once we received the email [I made it]“It was very exciting,” Adams said.

After making the team, Adams prepared for her first competition for Team Canada.

“Over the month leading up to this race, I’ve watched previous events at the track, so I know what I’m getting into,” said Adams, who added that race times depend on the track, but that his fastest run at Whistler was 57 seconds.

In two races Saturday morning, Adams finished with a combined time of 2 minutes, 4.57 seconds. Her first run was 1:02.34 while the second was 1:02.23.

She will now be able to enjoy three days at home before heading to Whistler for another week of training, then to Park City, Utah, for the next competition. She will compete in various events leading up to the season finals in Lake Placid in March.

As part of the national team, Adams also hopes to one day represent his country on the highest stage in the world by qualifying for the Olympics.

“I hope so, that’s my overall goal,” Adams said. “When I was five, my parents were watching the Olympics while watching hockey and I asked them, ‘Which team is this?’ I want to be part of this team. My mom said to me, “Do you want to play hockey?” “No, I want to be part of Team Canada.” And I answered.

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