The love for adrenaline and speed is what helped Kelowna’s Mackenzie Adams made the Canadian National Skeleton team just two years into the sport.
At just 19 years old, Adams is made her debut with the national team at the North American Cup in Lake Placid, New York on Saturday, Nov. 18.
Coming from a hockey and speed skating background, Adams was approached to try the skeleton and the sport clicked with her.
“I used to be a speed skater and I went to trails in the Kamloops area and the coach decided that he wanted me to try [skeleton] at the track,” Adams told Capital News. “We went to Whistler for a week-long program where they teach you the basics of how to ride the sled and it snowballed from there.”
“I started in hockey, and went to speed skating and was like ‘this is really fast, this is really cool, I like this’ and then moved on to this that’s even faster. It’s a lot of fun hitting those hit speeds,” said Adams, who’s reached 130 kilometres per hour during a run before.
The Kelowna native raced up the ranks as she started in the sport just two years ago when she was 17 and now is on the national team as a 19-year-old. She had to go to Whistler a lot to train and went for three weeks as part of the final test for the national team. In that time, the participants will only have two or three runs each day. After the tryouts, she went home to Kelowna and awaited the news.
“Once we got the e-mail [I made it], it was quite exciting,” said Adams.
After making the team, Adams got ready for her first competition for Team Canada.
“In the month before this race, I watched previous events at the track so I know what I’m getting into,” said Adams, who added race times are track dependent but her fastest run in Whistler was 57 seconds.
On Saturday morning, in two runs, Adams finished with a combined time of 2 minutes and 4.57 seconds. Her first run was 1:02.34 while the second was 1:02.23.
Now, she’ll get to enjoy three days at home before heading to Whistler for another week of training and then to Park City, Utah for the next competition. She’ll compete in various events until the season finals back at Lake Placid in March.
Being on the national team, Adams also wants to represent her country on the world’s highest stage one day by making it to the Olympics.
“Hopefully yes, that’s my overall goal,” said Adams. “When I was five, my parents had the Olympics on watching hockey and I asked ‘What team is that? I want to be on that team.’ My mom said ‘You want to play hockey?’ ‘No, I want to be on for Team Canada.’ I replied.”