FALCON LAKE —; There’s no bar, no pool table and no Norm. But at the Falcon Lake biathlon range, Amelia Kovachik is always glad she came.
“It’s the place where everybody knows your name,” chuckled Amelia.
Even though she competes for Alberta, Amelia still calls Manitoba home.
“Usually I tell people I’m from Winnipeg before I say Canmore,” said Amelia.
The 17-year-old biathlete moved west last summer to give herself a better shot at success.
“There’s more competition (in Alberta),” Amelia said. “I’m training at the national training centre. That’s where the 1988 Olympics were held. It’s quite a high-tech facility.”
So far, it’s paid off. Amelia has finished the majority of her biathlon races on the podium. She’s even qualified for this month’s nationals in Quebec.
“I’ve seen a huge improvement,” Amelia said. “I really didn’t think it was going to be that big but I feel so much better. My speed has come up a lot.”
Progress that came with a price. Amelia’s mom joined her in Alberta, splitting the family of four. The Kovachik’s say it was a difficult decision to leave Amelia’s dad and brother behind in Winnipeg.
“You have that thought that maybe someday you look back and say could’ve, should’ve, would’ve,” said Jim Kovachik, Amelia’s dad. “We didn’t want to have that. We didn’t want her to have that feeling.”
The Kovachik clan has only been together as a family a few times this year. As much as Amelia misses the moments, she’s also grateful.
“Everything I do, I’m thinking of them,” said Amelia. “I’m thinking of the sacrifices they had to make in order for me to be able to chase my dream.”