Schroon Lake student sets his sights on Olympic gold

— When first asked to join the team, Wachowski said he wasn’t as overjoyed as his family members were, instead he saw the offer as an opportunity to help him to the next step in his goals.

“I realized this was just one step out of the hundreds of steps to get to where I want to be,” he said. “Now that I’m here I will need to reach for the next step, it’s just one level gone and I need to step it up.”

Over the last year, Wachowski has participated in The Empire State Games, a set of annual Olympic-style competitions for amateur athletes from New York state, the Adirondack Ice Breaker Competition, and Junior National Championships.

Currently, Wachowski is living and training at the Olympic training center in Lake Placid where he trains and studies his craft, and attends high school via the internet, working toward his goal of competing in the 2014 Winter Olympics.

When Wachowski is at the training facility, his time is spent in training sessions that include strenuous weight training, two hour sliding sessions and start training. Once his physical training is over he must take on the role of completing his senior year of high school online. Wachowski said by the end of the year he will have spent half the school year at the training facility.

“I’m very proud of him,” his father said. “It’s not a pipe dream for him, he has set the stage for himself with the amount of training he’s done.”

Though his routine is not that of an average 17-year-old, Wachowski said he will continue to work hard until he reaches his olympic goals.

“My whole goal and dream in my career is to get to the olympics one way or another,” Wachowski said. “I like the feeling of representing the whole country instead of just one team or school, my plan is to be there in 2014 or 2018. I have to do it one way or another.”

The United States Olympic Team is not funded by the government. Participation is made possible through sponsorship. All training events Wachowski must travel to or competitions he competes in must be paid for out of pocket.

Anyone interested in making a donation to Justin Wachowski can do so through his Facebook page, the Justin Wachowski Olympic Athletic Training Fund.

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