Born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, I grew up with the Rocky Mountains in my backyard and summer time meant Stampede and summer camp. Winter meant skiing, and street hockey, and skating. I started gymnastics at the age of six and became competitive at the age of 11, gradually progressing up the provincial levels. I also played soccer, ran track in junior high, and swam competitively at the YMCA with my older sister. Eventually gymnastics meets took over everything when I started winning medals, and remained at the forefront of my mind till I came across a new love when I was 13- springboard and platform diving.
Now 13 may be a little old to begin a new sport, especially when you do it for a couple months, quit, and come back when you turn 15, but people believed in me. I was talent ID’d by coaches at Dive Calgary, and was fortune enough to work with an incredible group of people there with the various coaches, my team mates and best friends, and the parents and the community. While competing with Dive Calgary I had the opportunity to travel to all over Canada, Hawaii, Mexico, and Germany. My last year of high school was even completed at the National Sport School, a one of a kind institution that supported national level athletic goals.
At 19, a year out of high school and after a long recruiting process, I packed up my life and moved to Iowa City, Iowa with the help of my mom and sister. Attending the University of Iowa, as a NCAA Division I, Big Ten, diver, was probably one of the greatest decisions of my life. Something clicked when I visited the campus the previous fall. I knew where I was supposed to be. Being at Iowa had given more than I ever could have imagined- the pride I feel from being a Hawkeye, a team that acts like a family, the chance to travel all over the US. The best friends a girl could possibly ask for, and two of the best coaches I will ever have. I wish I could put into words how thankful I am for this period of my life. Perhaps sometime I’ll try sometime in a blog post.
Currently I’m a senior now at Iowa, studying Recreation and Sport Business. I’m certainly not ready to be done with college or diving- evidenced by the fact I’m dragging it out for as long as possible! Thanks for reading, and I promise to keep posting :)
Ten Facts About Lauren Elyse
- I went to the same summer camp for ten years, YMCA Camp Chief Hector, and would do anything to go back
- My hair has been every (hair) color under the sun. Primarily in junior high. Red, brunette, pink highlights… Thankfully a natural blonde again!
- I’m semi-obsessed with the Olympic Games, and want to work in high performance amateur sport
- I’ve been to 31 different airports
- Met my boyfriend at a skating rink. Yup, that happened.
- I taught myself guitar when I was 16 years old, and played in coffee shops after high school
- I’m procrastinating doing homework right now
- Met my best friend because we dated the same guy in high school way back when
- Learning how to cook is one of my biggest accomplishments
- I worked at Starbucks for a year, and could still probably make any drink on the spot
- Coffee and tea. I start every single morning with coffee. Some could call it an addiction
- Hot yoga. While I don’t have time for it often, it makes my entire week when I can go!
- That second playlist at the pool during our practices that’s NOT classic rock and oldies
- The necklace I wear everyday from my mother on the 20th birthday, that says “Live Out Loud”
- Country music! Best music for any type of mood you need to be in.
- Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. Go read it. Right now.
- Obsessed with the tv show Castle. Nathon Fillion, you get me. It’s okay.
- The super tender flank steak my mother makes whenever I come home.
- Back one a half pike on the 1m springboard, and front two and a half with a full twist on 3m springboard
- When I don’t have to set an alarm in the morning
- Spicy foods. I can’t handle it. I can’t even pretend to handle it.
- The paperwork involved in being an international student
- When people ask how “swim” practice went
- When my dishwasher is so loud it sounds like a fighter jet
- When people ask “Really? Iowa?” YES. IOWA. IT’S AWESOME.
- Tornado warnings. Still not used to them
- “You look tired”
- Not being able to put on body lotion Mon through Sat because of practice
- Figuring out a new way to cite sources