Local BMX athlete, Daina Tuchscherer, 22, is proud of how she performed during the 2019 Pan American (Pan Am) Games in Lima, Peru.
“It went well, but I kind of messed up my final,” Tuchscherer said.
“I was still pretty happy to make it because I’ve never made the final at a game, that was pretty cool,” she added.
Although Tuchscherer didn’t have the best start to the finals and got stuck in the pack, she was happy with how she raced and was excited to make a final.
“It was my best finish so far,” Tuchscherer said.
To prepare for the 2019 Pan Am Games, Tuchscherer continually trained on the track by doing sprints, or lifting heavyweights in the gym while competing in world cups, and the world championship in Belgium.
Prior to the Pan Am race, Tuchscherer had three-days of practice before the timed trails and then the final race.
“The racing leading up to the final went well, I felt really good on the track, comfortable and pretty confident with myself,” Tuchscherer said.
For Tuchscherer, preparing mentally for competitions is just as important as preparing physically.
To ensure Tuchscherer is ready to compete, she often writes her goals and any milestones she wants to hit in a journal while staying relaxed the day before a competition.
“We’re in the gate with eight other people, I don’t want to get too anxious, or I will make mistakes. I just try to keep myself relaxed,” Tuchscherer said.
“The day before I try to keep my mind off of things and keep it lighter so come race day, I’m not too nervous,” she said.
Adding, “I try to think positively and take it one race at a time. Competing, I know I’ve done everything I can, I’ve worked as hard as I can, and I’m going to do the best I can. I just go in thinking there’s nothing else I could have done and that I’m ready.”
Going into the Pan Am Games for the second time, Tuchscherer felt more confident in her ability to compete as she has grown as an athlete.
“Having already participated in the games and being older, I’m more developed, and I had a better chance at these games than I did at last one,” Tuchscherer said.
“I knew a lot more, I’ve had more time for personal development, and I felt more confident going in than I did at last games,” she added.
A highlight from the 2019 Pan Am Games for Tuchscherer was having her parents in the crowd watching her and cheering her on.
“I was pretty excited. My parents were there watching, that was really awesome to have them there. It was my mom’s first time watching me at the games,” Tuchscherer said.
Along with having her family watching her compete, having the opportunity to wear the Team Canada jersey is always special for Tuchscherer.
“I’m always honoured to wear the maple leaf jersey and to compete for Canada,” Tuchscherer said.
She added, “You feel a part of your country.”
Moving forward, Tuchscherer is now preparing for two world cups, and then an Olympic testing event in Tokyo.