The Peninsula will have ties to the summer Olympics this year as Stelly’s secondary school grad Patricia Obee heads to London with Rowing Canada’s Olympic team.
Obee, who was officially announced to Rowing Canada’s Olympic team on Thursday, June 28 began her career in rowing while at Stelly’s.
“I started rowing in Grade 12,” Obee explained. “Before that, I used to ride horses competitively, but when I started rowing with school I liked it right away, it was really fun.”
Obee, who is now 20, will be competing in the women’s lightweight double event in the Olympics with fellow teammate Lindsay Jennerich, 29, who earlier split with long time training partner Tracy Cameron. Cameron was originally meant to compete on this year’s Olympic team, but injuries and frustration between her and Jennerich preceded Cameron’s unexpected retirement announcement on June 8.
Obee, who was originally set to be an alternate for the team was asked to step up as part of the official Olympic team.
Although she began rowing late, Obee quickly excelled in the sport and was offered a scholarship to Oregon State University.
Obee attended the school for a year, but soon felt the pull back to Peninsula as the Olympic training season neared.
“The seed was planted in my head by people who kept dropping hints about considering coming back here to try for the Olympic team,” Obee explained. “I actually went back to school in the fall, but I kept thinking about it and it just seemed so much more exciting to come back and try for the Olympics. I just couldn’t let that opportunity go by without taking it.”
Obee returned to Victoria in January and says she is very thankful that she is so close to a training facility.
“I’m really lucky there’s a training centre here and that I live here so close by. Otherwise, I would have had to go to Ontario to train whereas here I was able to just to come back home and settle in.”
Obee says the excitement hasn’t quite settled in yet because she’s focused on training and preparing for London.
“I’m more just in the moment and getting prepared for what we have to do to get our boat the fastest it can be.”
Obee, who has an eventual goal of becoming a high school teacher, will compete in London on July 28, 30 and Aug. 1.