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Gallays proud to be a Huskie

By in Sports & Health

Jill-Gaylay--Supplied-by-Jill-Gallay's-Jillian Gallays made the right choice when she decided to wrestle competitively.

An all-around athlete in high school who participated in many sports, she had to make a tough choice of what to do after she graduated.

“In Grade 9 I tried out wrestling and I really liked it, I actually really sucked at it. I never won high school cities or provincials — I was always a soccer player. After high school I had to decide on what I wanted to do and Huskie wrestling was recruiting me and I loved the people. The people are what drove me here in the first place.”

The decision has paid off for Gallays. She’s a two-time Canadian Interuniversity Sports gold medalist and has also won bronze at the national championships. Then this past summer, Gallays took the next step in her wrestling career as she represented Canada at the 2014 Commonwealth Games as well as at the United World Wrestling World Championships.

Gallays would wind up winning bronze at both international events, making her friends and her country proud.

“I don’t even have words to describe it. Every time I think about being on that podium; being third in the world is such an amazing accomplishment. To be honest, my favourite memory of it is just knowing all the love and support I have back home. My news feed, Facebook and Twitter, it was just crazy,” Gallays said. “I’m so proud to have so much support around me that and I think that’s one of my greatest memories and that’s going to keep me going is that people support me.”

The Humboldt native moved to Saskatoon in Grade 3 and has lived here ever since. She attended the University of Saskatchewan for five years but recently had to make the tough decision to move to St. Catherine’s, On. to try and further her career.

On an average day, she gets up around 7 a.m. and then heads to the gym for a two-hour workout. She has a quick nap before heading off to physio and then practices for two more hours. She finishes off with two more hours in the gym, focusing on cardio and weight lifting.

The tough schedule “is what it takes, it takes a lot of commitment. Every workout is a little different. Sometimes I’m really happy to be there and so excited to be a full-time athlete and other days are a little harder to see the positive side. It’s all been so worthwhile and I’m just really excited for what’s next,” Gallays said.

Gallays also attributed her five years as a Huskie athlete to be a crucial stepping-stone for her development as a wrestler. She finished off her five-year career as a Huskie in 2009 and during that span she collected two CIS gold medals and one bronze.

“I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the Huskies,” Gallays said. “Shane, Daniel and Todd they all helped me grow and if I didn’t have them believing in me I wouldn’t be here… I’m so proud to be a Huskie and I will always be proud to be a Huskie no matter where I live and whenever I come back here it’s just home and it’s a great feeling.”

Even though she had an incredible summer, Gallays doesn’t want to stop now. After her quick vacation in Saskatoon, she will be headed back to St. Catherine’s to continue her rigorous training.

“My end goal at the moment is 2016 Rio. This just helps to reinforce all my hard work and to know that I’m on the right path and I’m doing the right thing.”

Photo: Supplied

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