Gold medal for Moyse erases memory of near miss at 2006 Games
rugby team saw the IRB Women’s Rugby World Cup bronze medal snatched away by France with a 17-8 win over Canada in Edmonton.
She gets another crack at the Rugby World Cup this summer in England. But first bobsled. Oh sure, Clara Hughes, the great Canadian speedskater, gets all the ink for her pure athleticism, a medal winner in both the Winter and Summer (cycling) Olympics.
But quietly, Moyse has emerged as one of Canada’s top two-sport athletes, female or otherwise.
And now she’s got the gold trinklet to prove it.
“ The fourth in Torino left me with some unfinished business,” she said. “I mean, you’ve got to be kidding me, to lose by that much?”
She stepped away from the track to complete a masters degree, unsure if that close call was enough to draw her back to the sleds.
“But I decided one day I’m not done with this sport,” she said. “ That niggling fourth place brought me back, no doubt.”
By now, her story has been well documented.
A former track star at the University of Waterloo, where she won 10 Ontario university athletics medals, Moyse was recruited to bobsled by McGill University track coach Dennis Barrett, who was working on behalf of the bobsled national team.
On the way to Vancouver, her workouts have become the stuff of legend, pushing cars throughout Summerside’s parking lots.
“I’m driven,” she said, no pun intended.
For Moyse, it’s a hair-on-fire speed thing. Push as hard as you can, jump in, head down and brace for the ride. Bring it on. “If you don’t want it to go fast,” she says, “ you’re in the wrong sport. People talk about the crazy speeds. That’s the point.”
Still, there was a certain amount of fear she confronted on the first couple of visits to the now infamous Whistler track, the ‘elevator shaft’ that claimed a Georgian luger the first day of the Games, the track some speculate might have gotten the better of a fearsome Canadian medal hopeful Melissa Hollingsworth, a twotime World Cup champion who wound up fifth in skeleton.
“ To be honest,” Moyse said, “I was scared of this track. I will not deny that. I was so nervous, you could cut the tension. Real tension.”
So now she has her sights on rugby, and England this summer.
If bobsled was a challenge, rugby is the passion.
It’s the sport she played in high school, just as her sister and brother did back in Summerside. The sport that every P.E.I. kid, she said, can’t wait to play in the spring, to get out and roll around in the mud.
“I definitely don’t pick the glamorous ones, do I?” she joked this week. “But for me, rugby’s fun. I love it.
“Bobsledding started as a challenge. I can’t say I loved it because I hadn’t even been down a track before I committed to it. It was all about how well could I do at it.”
That’s been answered. And there aren’t many such queries around the rugby pitch.
The girl who doubles as a fullback and wingback in the national team program was Canada’s leading scorer in the 2008 Hong Kong Rugby Sevens tournament. At the World Cup in ’06, she was Canada’s lone all-star in the Edmonton tournament.
It’s way too early to start thinking rugby just yet, she said, but she will be in England, sore shoulder or not. “ That’s the plan,” she said. Only question now is whether she can make it two-for-two.