Medford curler eyes spot in Sochi Olympics - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Medford curler eyes spot in Sochi Olympics


"I had to push back school, and that was a sacrifice," Medford-native Jackie Lemke said. "I also put off getting a full-time job."

Jackie Lemke has made her share of sacrifices for the opportunity to compete with the best curlers around the world.

"I keep telling myself that most people would kill for this opportunity, I've been given opportunities to travel, meet people, compete at a level that most people won't ever get to do," Lemke said.

The 28-year-old is competing at the Olympic trials in Fargo, North Dakota this week with a team that finished as a runner-up at last year's national championships.

Lemke remembers getting the call to join the team eight years ago.

"I was shaking and I was so excited," Lemke said. "I had to walk away and I had to take a couple of paces. I was just thrilled"

But the journey hasn't been easy. Lemke's training takes her away from Medford home almost every weekend.

"The hardest thing is time away from my husband and I also have a two year old," Lemke said. "She's only going to be two for so long. I guess if I ever quit curling, it'll be because of my daughter and my husband, but right now they are totally supportive so I can justify it."

Now Lemke is one competition away from qualifying for the U.S. Olympic team.

"I can't even put it into words. There's so many levels of excitement when I think about just being an Olympian and walking out during Opening Ceremonies," Lemke said.  "You get goose bumps."

Goose bumps from a dream that might not come true.

"No matter what happens, I've still had some amazing experiences."

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