World-class athlete joins cross-country team

Emily Young, a Paralympic athlete, has joined TRU's cross-country team

Young won two medals, a silver in the 4×2.5-km mixed relay and a bronze in the women’s standing 7.5-kilometre classic event, at the 2018 Winter Paralympics earlier this year. (TRU Athletics)

The WolfPack have had a lot of unique athletes, but few like Emily Young.

Young is returning to university sports after six years as she becomes the latest recruit of the WolfPack cross-country team.

The 27 year-old Young has competed collegiately in cross-country for Douglas College. But she is best known for her other cross-country passion: skiing.

In fact, Young recently captured two medals (silver and bronze) at the 2018 Paralympic Games in South Korea.

For the last three years she has been a part of the very successful Canadian para nordic/ biathlon team.

Young has been a student at Thompson Rivers University since 2015 through the TRU Open Learning program. She is in the bachelor of arts psychology program.

Though an avid skier, Young has a background in cross-country running.

“I have always been involved with running ever since I was a young athlete. I ran cross-country for my high school and then transitioned into triathlon after my injury,” Young said. “I love running!”

Young was also a promising collegiate wrestler who suffered a severely dislocated right elbow and shoulder and extensive nerve damage during a training session in July 2009. However, that didn’t stop her from competing in the 2012 World Ironman, as well as the 2012 and 2013 Ironman Canada events.

Young and her husband Chris live in North Vancouver, but are relocating to Kelowna for the fall.

Young added that her husband, whom she says is her biggest influence, is a former professional triathlete who rode across the country to raise funds for the Heart and Stroke Foundation in 2009.

“I am super excited about joining the WolfPack program. I love racing and being able to race on a team again is awesome. Sadly, I won’t be able to be present with the team training, but I will really enjoy the moments of being on the team in the races.”

Young is ranked fourth in the world for para nordic, ninth for biathlon and ranked first in the nation in cross-country skiing. Young is a member of the Canadian Senior World Cup team.

As far as a training program goes, Young says she will be in Kamloops when her schedule allows.

“My cross-country ski coach is going to doctor my plan for the summer/ fall to add more focused running pieces in,” she said. “However, if I can come to Kamloops for some training when my ski schedule allows, I am going to do that with the team.”

Head coach Carmin Mazotta believes that Young will not only make a great addition to the team, but will inspire other athletes as well.

“From the initial interactions I have had with her, Emily seems to have a great personality and should be a great addition to our squad. She is motivated, full of positive energy and is more than ready to embrace a new adventure by being part of a university cross-country team,” Mazotta said to TRU Athletics.

“She won’t be at practice too often, but she should be able to compete in most of our local and regional races in the build up to the big competitions, B.C. Cross-Country and USPORTS championships, at the end of the season. This will give her an opportunity to get to know the other women on the team and form a bond,” added Mazotta.


— Larry Read/TRU Athletics