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Sandi Mercier Getting Ready to Leave for LA

posted 27 Jul 2015, 08:54 by Brockville Ontario   [ updated 27 Jul 2015, 08:55 ]
GOOD LUCK SANDI

Working hard for two golden goals at the World Summer Games 0

By Jonathon Brodie

Wednesday, July 15, 2015 9:20:23 EDT AM

 Coaches Penney Place, Paul McNamee and Lynda Cavanagh sit behind Sandi Mercier. The three coaches are just a few of the handful of coaches Mercier has been working with for the last eight months to prepare for the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles later this month. (JONATHON BRODIE/The Recorder and Times)

Coaches Penney Place, Paul McNamee and Lynda Cavanagh sit behind Sandi Mercier. The three coaches are just a few of the     
handful of coaches Mercier has been working with for the last eight months to prepare for the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles later this month.    

It was Sandi Mercier's last day of doing her cardio training before leaving to Los Angeles for the Special Olympics World Summer Games, which runs from July 25 to Aug. 2. It was a hot Sunday reaching past 25 C. She had worked hard for the last eight months with a team of up to six coaches pushing her six days a week sometimes and moving her through routines of running, strength training and even yoga.

No one could have blamed Mercier if she wanted her final day of training to be her lightest, but would it be?

"I'm going to work hard," she said with a big grin.

Mercier has seen the progress she's accomplished since starting her tough regimen, so why stop now? She races around the track one last time, running for about 100 metres and then walking the next 100 metres, heavily breathing after each sprint. She wouldn't have it any other way.

The 19-year-old originally qualified for shot put and the 50-metre race at the World Games. Once the national coaches saw how much Mercier progressed from when she initially qualified for the team to October, they bumped her up to the 100-metre sprint.

Mercier's Brockville coach points out that she very well could run in the 200-metre race next year and Mercier is quick to agree.

Mercier's first-ever training that was part of her program was a one hour routine that ended up taking her 90 minutes. Months later and she can now get through that same routine, using good form, in less than an hour. The coaches even added exercises to the plan.

Mercier's coaches joke about how bad her balance was when she first started working out. She would stand on one foot and the wobbling would immediately start. Nowadays she still wouldn't find herself part of a Cirque du Soleil troupe, but she's certainly a lot better than where she started from.

"If I put my foot up to balance I kept going down, but slowly I've been able to hold it up for a bit," Mercier said. "Not long, but for a bit and that's pretty good."

Mercier will be meeting up with the other national athletes in Vancouver before heading to L.A.

She's worked hard over the months, so she knows what she wants from the World Summer Games.

"To bring in a medal," Mercier said, then she quickly interjects by putting up two fingers to signify that she wants a pair of medals -one from each event she's competing in.

Mercier has put in the work to reach her goals. Now it's time for her to get to work at the Games, she's been waiting for this day for months.


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