TWENTY-FOUR-YEAR-OLD Dominika Jamnicky isn’t short on future prospects when it comes to career and sport. A recent graduate of the University of Guelph’s science program with an honours in bio-med, she’s also a rising star on the Canadian ITU scene, so there has been plenty keeping her busy in recent years. And a bright future ahead. Jamnicky, who wants to work in the healthcare field, is taking a hiatus from future studies to pursue her dream of representing Canada at the highest level of the sport while she’s in her prime as an athlete.
“As of December 2016, when I graduated, I have decided to give myself 100 per cent to the sport,” she says. “Looking back at the last few years, I’ve seen the biggest gains in the years that I put the most work in. Whenever I’ve taken time off from studying, I’ve really been able to prove to myself that I can make big jumps – the kind needed to race the best in the world.”
The steady progress that Jamnicky refers to is a handful of continental cup podiums over the last few years including a second-place finish at last year’s national championship in Ottawa. She also made her WTS debut in September 2015 in Edmonton, where she took 15th.
“I really wanted to get that experience of Olympic qualification during the most recent quadrennial,” Jamnicky explains. “It’s a big step up from world cup races to the World Triathlon Series, but at the same time, lots of fun. Not all of my races went well, but to compete against the best in the world in your sport is incredible – it makes me hungry for more.”
Jamnicky knows her full commitment to triathlon for the foreseeable future requires her to be reasonable and smart about her training and racing plans. She knows that patience and consistency will be the key for her to see success during the next Olympic qualification period.
“For this year, I’m going to focus more on the world cup circuit. I want to master that before I really go all in with the WTS.”
While Tokyo 2020 is the ultimate goal, Jamnicky doesn’t want to only focus on that.
“I’m going to devote everything I have to it and I’m putting my other goals on hold for it, but if I don’t make it to Tokyo it won’t be the end of the world. There are many other opportunities to represent my country,” Jamnicky says, acknowledging how competitive the process is to earn a spot for the country on an Olympic team.
Indeed, as an athlete in her mid-20s, Jamnicky knows she has a long career ahead of her if she can stay patient and avoid injury.
“It’s definitely a sport for the mature athlete, so hopefully I have a few Olympic cycles ahead of me” she says.
Surrounding herself with a strong support system will surely help to get her into peak shape for the important races to come. Jamnicky trains at the Regional Training Centre in Guelph, Ont. with coach Craig Taylor and a crew of young elite triathletes. She says the group is tight-knit and has a great dynamic – they’re training partners, sometime rivals on the race course, but also friends.
“I’ve made so many great connections through the group. It’s a really special thing to be a part of,” she says. “I certainly like being based in Guelph most of the year – it gives me a strong home base.”
It will be exciting to see how Jamnicky’s career unfolds alongside a strong crew of up-and-coming young triathletes in Canada right now.
“I foresee our young generation of triathletes really growing into high-level racers competing against the best in the world,” Jamnicky says. “I think the most important thing to remember with young triathletes is that there’s no rush to deliver on the big stage. By going through each level of racing an athlete learns a lot about proper race preparation and delivering in a process driven manner. I hope with this approach, to be one of those athletes contributing to our country’s success.”—cd
ABOVE Dominika Jamnicky in Salinas on the run in 2016