Olympic medalist and SFU student Jasmin Glaesser shares pre-race rituals

Jasmin Glaesser almost didn’t get here. As the daughter of German academics, she was expected to pursue a course of academia. Although she had been a runner for many years, she had never put much stock into being a full-time athlete, much less an Olympian. All that changed three and half years ago when Jasmin saw track cycling for the first time. She immediately became hooked.

High hopes for the teen track cyclist

Jasmin soon changed from track to track cycling. Very quickly, her name was mentioned as a possible member of the Olympic team. There was just one problem: she was not yet a citizen.

She was born in Germany and did not come to Canada until she was eight years old. Due to the nature of citizenship and immigration laws, she could not even apply for status until she was 18, making her Olympic dream less of a reality.  Her citizenship papers came in the fall, though, and she soon qualified for the Olympic team. 

Jasmin explained to me that she and her team went in with high hopes; nevertheless, they were still stunned when they won the bronze medal in team pursuit. Jasmin says that it still hasn’t sunk in. Did I mention she is only 19? She has also only been cycling for three years. Talk about a quick transition.

Pre-race rituals

Like many athletes, Jasmin has her pre-race rituals. For her, it’s eating oatmeal. Why I asked her how this became her habit, she explained that she eaten once or twice before a race and felt good, so that habit stuck. Not the most exciting thing, she stated, but it works. She also has an affinity for peanut butter (although, according to her, the peanut butter in London wasn’t so hot). It seems to be working well for her.

Given that her dad is computer science professor at Simon Fraser University – where Jasmin is a student in the same field – her budding athletic career was a tough sell at first, but, like many parents, when they how much potential she had, they softened up a little. Having an Olympic medal can’t hurt either jokes Jasmin. While the Olympics are now over, the new racing season is upon and Jasmin explains that she still has some difficulty balancing her schoolwork with her cycling adventures.

When I spoke to her a couple of weeks ago, she was just leaving for a backpacking trip, before the start of the school year, and of her training season. She is going to try to continue with as well as training as she “never far from [her] bike”.

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