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U.S.A. Women’s Field Hockey Athlete Jesse Gey Shares 2008 Olympic Journey and 2012 Hopes

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Wellness related image Photo Courtesy of Jesse Gey

U.S.A. women’s field hockey athlete Jesse Gey is looking to take home her first Olympic medal at the upcoming summer Olympics.

Gey, who was a member of the 2008 women’s field hockey Olympic team, hopes to make the team again this year. She has been training in Chula Vista, California, full-time since June 2011.

Gey, 25, was first introduced to field hockey in her hometown outside of Philadelphia when she was 12. She played field hockey for the University of North Carolina before moving to California to train for the 2008 Olympic team.

Gey was unsure if she would make the 2008 team, but she took a risk and left UNC for a semester to go to California to train.

“It’s a lot of sacrifice, and it’s a lot of pushing yourself to the limit without knowing how it’s going to be,” she said of the training process.

Gey said she didn’t fully expect to make the team, so she was surprised when she did. She said the year of training was hard and she had her doubts, but she is happy she stuck it out.

“There’s good days and there’s bad days, but you just have to keep going,” she said.

Gey is fortunate to have a relatively lenient diet, but she makes sure she gets what she calls her “daily necessities” -- proteins and carbohydrates. She says she focuses on keeping track of what she eats but recognizes how difficult it is to do so.

“The hardest part for me is balancing what I need to be eating and what I am eating,” she said. “It’s hard to make the best choices all the time, day in and day out.”

Despite how challenging it is to make health-conscious decisions on a regular basis, Gey said when she makes poor nutrition choices, she notices the negative effects it has on her body.

“I feel a difference the next day if I didn’t eat well the day before,’ she said.

Gey has also fought through trials as a top athlete. She lost six of her front teeth after being hit in the face with a hockey stick her senior year, and she went through two years of surgery before recovering fully.

Gey said the injury didn’t stop her from getting back on the field, and she has been training for the Olympics on and off since 2008. She refers to her training as a “full-time job,” as she only has Sunday off from all physical activity.

Gey advised women to try to make smart nutrition decisions based on the future and to recognize that it’s crucial to take care of their bodies because “it’s the only one you get.”

She also advised women to find something active they’re passionate about. “Find something you really enjoy that’s active and do it because you like it,” she said.

While Gey has her eyes set on winning an Olympic medal, she has another goal of building awareness around the country for women’s field hockey. She says she is inspired by the recognition U.S. women’s soccer gained and would like to see field hockey follow their example.

Gey is looking forward to the Olympic trials in the first week of June, where she will find out if she will be traveling to the summer Olympics with the 2012 women’s field hockey team. “I’m going to give everything I can, and control what I can control,” she said of the upcoming trials.

Edited by Jody Smith

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