With the Opening Ceremonies for the 2012 Summer Olympics being held Friday in London, Waukesha residents have an added interest in watching the athletic events as a local woman is competing for the first time in the Olympics.
Gwen Jorgensen, a Waukesha South High School graduate, was recruited to run triathlons when she was studying at University of Wisconsin-Madison. The 26-year-old woman was an accountant at Ernest and Young in Milwaukee when she made the USA Olympic team.
Jorgensen’s been blogging about her race experiences as she prepares for the Olympics. In her blog, she shares about the change of pace from training while in the working world to racing during her leave of absence from work. She also shares in her blog what happens when she has a bad day, like she did in San Diego.
“I had an off day and did not finish, or race like I should/could have,” Jorgensen wrote. “Everyone has an off day….the bad days make the good days that much better! I am blessed with support and am thankful for everyone’s help. San Diego gave me motivation and insight into what I can do pre-race and what I can’t – I am still learning what works best for me.”
Jorgensen grew up swimming at her grandparents’ pool, her mother, Nancy Jorgensen, wrote in a recent blog, and swimming was “her first love and her first sport.”
“What sealed the deal for Gwen was an opportunity to compete in the Optimist Club’s annual swim meet,” Nancy Jorgensen wrote in the blog. “While her sister claims she’s still traumatized by the required starting dive, Gwen can credit the Optimists and Waukesha Express Swim Team for piquing her interest and offering solid training in swimming fundamentals.”
The Waukesha Optimist Club holds swim meets in the spring each year. It’s at the swim meets that area elementary school children have one of their first tastes of competitive swimming.
“The grade school coaches and the teams focus on building skills and building confidence to prepare for the Optimist Swim Meet,” said the club’s president, Jerry Habanek. “I am elated to hear that one of the participants carried this confidence all the way to the Olympics games.”
For fun, Jorgensen likes cooking, reading, volunteering at her church, Bible study and baking, according to the Team USA website.