Name: Cristy Nurse
Hometown: Georgetown, ON
Favorite Sports Memory: Sitting in the start gate at my first World Championships in New Zealand. There was a huge crowd of over 10,000 and a Kiwi racing in the final before ours, so the crowd was cheering so loudly that at the start, 2 km away, it sounded like there was a low-flying plane overhead. The nerves all went away and there was just pure excitement.
How you got involved in your sport: After playing a year of varsity basketball at the University of Guelph, I was looking for a new sport and a new challenge. Having grown up in a sport-oriented family that closely follows every Olympic Games, rowing had always been a sport that interested me but wasn’t available in my hometown. After being told that at six feet, I had a good frame for rowing, I decided to give it a try.
The moment you knew you wanted to represent Canada: Watching the men’s 4×100 meter relay at the Atlanta Olympics. My parents had been really excited and the family was gathered around the TV – I remember realizing how much the country gets behind its athletes during those big moments.
Favorite Quote: “Saying you have potential is great, but potential is just that. It means you haven’t done anything yet” – from my old rowing coach Paul Westbury, the man who first told me I would row for Canada one day
CAN Fund Testimonial: To pursue my Olympic dream I deferred my final year of law school – and consequently starting my career. The financial support that CAN Fund provides will allow me to continue to focus on representing my country internationally, rather than having to jump into workforce full time.
Best Result: Double World Championship Silver Medalist in the Women’s Eight (2010 & 2011)
Share one valuable tool that you use on a daily basis that helps you to be the best athlete you can be: When you are full-time at a national training centre, everything is a competition. You are constantly being watched and compared to your peers, so I try to remember that – every workout is its own “race”, and I just keep trying to be the best competitor I can be.
Who is one person in your life that has impacted your career and what was it that they taught you? During the first summer I took up rowing, I met former New Zealand national team coach Paul Westbury, who at the time was coaching at the Don Rowing Club in Mississauga, where I started. He came out to guest coach my novice group, and part way into the practice he stopped the boat I was in and asked if I wanted to go to the Olympics someday because he saw that potential in me. I was fortunate enough to work with Paul for two more summers, and he always told me I would only be limited by what I was willing to put into the sport. He taught me to never settle for small results – to believe that I could wear the maple leaf one day and always keep striving for that.
Have you read any articles or books or watched any videos or movies recently that really inspired you? I find that I am constantly inspired by stories of people facing tremendous adversity, regardless of what it involves. These sort of hard-luck stories remind me of how incredibly lucky I am to have the opportunities I have through sport.
Fun Facts: I was raised on a dairy farm, and growing up I split my time between competing on various sport teams and showing cattle and horses at competitions across the country.