Skip to content

Moose Jaw’s Palaschuk to join Olympic training program in track cycling

Cross country running specialist identified through RBC Training Ground Olympic talent search, one of only 20 athletes from across country selected by Cycling Canada
Cross country Palaschuk
Jadyn Palaschuk in action during the 2019 high school cross country championship. Lucas Punkari / Prince Albert Daily Herald file
If everything goes according to plan for Moose Jaw’s Jadyn Palaschuk and Cycling Canada, it’ll only be a matter of time before she joins the likes of legends Mike Mintenko and Justin Abdou as Olympic athletes from the Friendly City.

Palaschuk, 15, recently took part in the RBC Training Ground Olympic talent search testing program, submitting her results online as one of over 1,000 athletes from across Canada taking part in the program.

Not only did the Central Collegiate standout perform well, she recorded the second-best score in the beep test in the country in the female age 14-to-19 age group, maxing out at 12.05.

That -- combined with the fact she’s the reigning provincial Midget girls high school cross country champion and also posted top-10 finishes in distance events at the 2019 National Legion Track and Field championships -- suddenly put Palaschuk on the Training Ground radar.

Then something amazing happened.

Not long after submitting her results, a representative of Cycling Canada reached out asking if Palaschuk would be interesting in trying out track cycling -- and if things work out, ultimately join the NEXTGen program as a potential future member of the Canadian Olympic team.

“It’s crazy and it’s kind of cool to think that I might end up training for the Olympics and stuff like that,” Palaschuk said. “I’ve always had the big dream of going to the Olympics, but it’s kind of weird that it might actually happen, and in cycling, that’s a surprise.”

The interesting thing is, based on past results and success for the Training Ground program, this could be a fast track, no pun intended.

“Where we’ve had the most success of crossover to date through RBC Training Ground has been in our sprint program, but we also have an endurance program,” said Jenny Trew, Cycling Canada’s NEXTGen Coach. “In fact, all four of our athletes that are in our elite sprint program for the women came from RBC training ground, which is a pretty neat statistic.”

World record-setting track sprint cyclist and Tokyo 2021 medal hopeful Kelsey Mitchell played soccer at the University of Alberta before joining Training Ground; fellow Team Canada member Lauriane Genest is a former figure skater.

Neither come from the background Palaschuk brings, especially when it comes to dealing with the ultra-long distances in the sport.

“I have really good endurance, I can run forever and hopefully that helps,” Palaschuk said. “Plus this is one of the first years I’ve been doing strength training so that will help too.”

Next up is a trip to Calgary this coming weekend, where Palaschuk will undergo more testing and hop on a track bike in an actual velodrome for the first time. She’s attempted to prepare with work in the gym on spin bikes, but is more than aware it’ll be a different experience.

“I don’t have any experience with competitive cycling but I do go on bike rides for fun,” she said. “I’m excited to see what I can do in the sport.”

Needless to say, Palachuk is thankful for the opportunity the RBC Training Ground program has given her.

“I think it’s a great way to look for people to try different sports they wouldn’t think off, like rowing and cycling and things that Canadians don’t really go in,” she said. “It’s neat to see more people having a chance to try sports and go to the Olympics.”

push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks