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Jillian Drouin sets sights on Rio

Published on

Barry Wright

Jillian Drouin has every intention of wearing the Maple Leaf when the world convenes in Brazil in August for the 2016 Summer Olympics.

The older sister of world high jump champion Derek Drouin has battled her way back mentally and physically from a devastating hamstring injury that forced her to withdraw from the Heptathlon at the Pan Am Games in Toronto last summer.

She says she’s feeling better than she has in years.

“We’re really excited about how things have been going,” said Drouin, referencing the collective thoughts of herself and long-time coach Joel Skinner.

The St. Patrick’s High School grad is scheduled to compete in several warm weather training camps and invitational track meets in the U.S. before the Canadian Olympic Trials in Edmonton in July.

This weekend, she’s competing at the Meyo Invitational at Notre Dame.

Meanwhile, a grassroots initiative is underway to help Drouin reach her Olympic dream by raising funds for her travel and accommodation. Because of the injury last season and the success of other Canadian athletes on the international stage, she isn’t receiving federal funding this year.

“We’re just trying to find ways to support Jillian,” said spokesperson Jeff Burchill, who noted the drive to raise about $34,000 is going well. If the initiative is able to surpass its goal, any additional money will be given to Sarnia Southwest Athletics Track Club for athletes who might find themselves in a similar situation in future, he added.

Drouin said any support would be much appreciated.

“It takes the stress off, so I can focus solely on training,” she said.

A website, www.jilliandrouin.com, has been set up for donations.

Burchill said no amount of support is too small.

“If people can donate five, ten or twenty dollars, that would be awesome,” he said.

 

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