For Williams Lake’s Kayla Moleschi it all feels like a dream.
The lakecity rugby player and her Team Canada Women’s Sevens teammates will make history next year as the first team from the country to play in a Summer Olympic Games when the event houses the sport for the first time at next year’s worldwide spectacle in Rio, Brazil.
“It’s like living a dream every day,” Moleschi told the Tribune. “Sometimes you wake up and you’re bagged from a hard day, but this is my job. My dream is my job, and I can’t be more grateful. It’s something I’ll cherish forever.”
Canada qualified for the Olympic Games at the Amsterdam Sevens — part of the World Women’s Sevens Series — late last month on day one of the tournament. They then went on to beat Australia, 20-17, to clinch second place in the WWSS in a thrilling Cup Final for its first ever cup championship.
“We were like little schoolgirls when we found out we’d qualified for the Olympics,” Moleschi said. “The energy was crazy. That’s the next step to our dreams coming true.”
Moleschi said since she joined Team Canada in 2012 lifelong friendships have been fostered, and a family-type atmosphere has been created. To achieve an Olympic berth with them, she said, couldn’t be more special.
“Some of the girls have been here longer than me, and it’s even better to see how much we’ve grown as a team and to see our strengths coming together and complementing each other not just on the field, but off the field, too,” she said. “We’re a close group. It’s our own little family and definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It’s not every day you’re going to be on a national women’s sports team and live this blessed life. Each day I’m thankful for it and it makes it even better to do it with close friends.”
That said, Moleschi isn’t getting ahead of herself and is focusing on the task at hand, day in and day out. Next up for Team Canada is the Pan American Games in Toronto July 10-26.
She said she’s enjoyed travelling around the world playing the sport she loves, but staying grounded and trying to improve each day is what’s most important.
“I’m thinking more like this week’s training or tomorrow’s training so I can keep getting better each day,” Moleschi said. “My goal is to ultimately be on that [Olympic] team, to go out there every game and give 100 per cent each time I’m on the field, and to do it with my team — to play rugby for our country.”
At the Pan American Games Canada will compete against Argentina, Brazil, the U.S., Colombia and Mexico.
“It will be a good experience, like a mini Olympics,” she said. “It will give us an idea what it will be like with every sport around us and how to cope with the distractions and all the energy around it, and we’re going in treating it like that. We’ve done the work and we’re ready to play.”
She noted, however, none of her success would be possible without the hometown support from past coaches, friends and family, especially her mom, dad and brother.
“This will be our last summer of preparation before the Olympics so it’ll be a big push,” she said.
“There are going to be a lot of hard training days coming up.”