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Richmond lifetime speedskater hoping to represent Canada again on international stage with help from a sponsor

Jackie Humber has speedskated for almost 50 years, and she plans to keep going.

"Fun, fast, family," are the three words Richmond lifetime speedskater Jackie Humber used to describe her profession.

And Humber came up with these three words without any hesitation. 

"Speed skating is a family sport, and you can start as a kid and your mom and dad can be there and they can volunteer," said Humber, 59, who started speed skating at 11. 

But Humber never feels her age since the sport keeps her "young at heart."

Humber recently brought home a gold medal from the world-class international Masters Short Track Speed Skating event in Calgary. Having spent her whole life perfecting her skills on the ice, this achievement was just the icing on the cake for Humber. 

"I have many ribbons and medals in speedskating. It's the family atmosphere and the fun competitions that I've been taking part in over all these years that keep me going," she said. 

Speed skating was first featured as a sport in the first Winter Olympics back in 1924, but the sport did not officially include women until the 1960s and 1970s. 

Humber said during that time, she was kind of an “oddity” being the only female speed skater in her whole school. During her early school days, she would practice from dawn until 7:30 a.m. in the early morning and then later went to school during breaks.

However, Humber never gave up on her dream. 

Instead, she used Canadian Olympian Eden Donatelli, who skated in the 1988 Olympics when short track speed skating was only a demonstration sport, as her role model to inspire her to keep moving forward. 

Even until now, Humber said she still practices on ice daily at different clubs across the Lower Mainland under guidance and mentorship from coach Julian Green, who coached the Canadian National Long Track Speed Skating Team at the 1992 Winter Olympics. 

On Wednesday and Fridays, she turns into an assistant coach for younger children.

"It's so satisfying to see the smiles on [the kids’] faces when they start getting the right technique down," said Humber. 

So what's next for Humber? 

She said she is looking forward to the upcoming Mist Games, which will be held in Amsterdam in 2023. 

Humber hopes to find a sponsor to help her with her flight to Amsterdam so she can skate for Canada again – and hopefully bring home another medal.