February 9, 2006
Groves on slow road to fast lane
BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

TURIN -- Some come to the Olympics riding a rocket. Others take a long, winding road.

And Ottawa's Kristina Groves, part of Canada's long-track speed skating powerhouse, may be finding her stride just at the right time.

"It's been a journey of steady improvement and slow strides," said the 30-year-old, who wil compete in the 1,000-, 1,500-, 3,000- and 5,000- metre events, as well as the team pursuit.

Groves, who climbed on her first World Cup podium last year with a bronze in Hamar, Norway, has followed with four podiums this year and more than a dozen personal- best times.

STEADY PROGRESS

"To some people on the outside, maybe it looks like I've suddenly found success, but it's part of the slow climb," said Groves. "I went from fifths and sixths to fourths and thirds. The progress really has been very steady. I think I'm a slow learner more than a late bloomer."

Groves goes into these Olympics with a chance to win a medal if she puts together her best performance.

"That's all I'm thinking about," she said. "Not about a medal. I think to start thinking about a medal is a negative. I'm thinking about coming up with the best race I can that day."

She says she's not here to pretend the Olympics are just another race.

"It's not just another race. But at the same time you have to keep things in check."







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