The life of a Paralympic athlete can be intensely busy and demanding leading up to the international competition that takes place just once every four years. The training is relentless and days off from anything related to their sport seem to be few and far between. For a young track and field athlete Renee Foessel, a native of Mississauga, Ont., every ounce of her energy has been invested into preparing for the biggest moment of her life.
A couple weeks before her flight to Rio de Janeiro, Foessel drove to Brampton, Ont. from her home on an overcast Thursday afternoon to meet with her head coach Ken Hall and one of her training partners. After a sit down interview and a warm up, she stepped into the circle. The Paralympic discus thrower worked with her coach to perfect her craft and fine tune some mechanics in her approach. Throw, feedback, reset, repeat. Repetition was the focus. This was the formula the athlete and coach had come up with as they jokingly bantered back and forth in between.
Despite the immense pressure and anticipation of what’s to come weighing on her shoulders, Foessel’s positive energy could not be contained. Her constant laughter, passion, and kindness were contagious amongst her group of supporters. This, combined with her competitive nature and taste of perfection, are what sets her apart from her athletic peers.
Foessel gave Report on Rio full access to her training session and sat down to talk about what she has been up to with the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games right around the corner.
For an extensive interview with the 21-year-old, listen to Episode #11 of the Road to Rio podcast. The F38 Women’s discuss finals take place at Olympic Stadium on September 17.
Photo Credit: Canadian Paralympic Committee