GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Kate Brim is heading to Canada.
“I still honestly feel like I’m in a daydream,” the 23-year-old Lowell native and handcyclist said.
After qualifying earlier this summer in the U.S. Paracycling National Championships, she was invited to join the U.S. Paracycling Team.
Brim suffered complications from a minor surgery when she was 19, slowly losing strength and function, which led her to develop a spinal cord injury. Following her rehab at Mary Free Bed, she began competing in sports like wheelchair rugby and handcycling.
In her first year of competition in 2021, she won the woman’s handcycle division of the Amway River Bank Run in Grand Rapids. Since then, she has competed in numerous races, making a name for herself. The experience gained in those races, and the qualifying time in the U.S. Paracycling National Championships just weeks ago in Chattanooga, Tennessee, led up to her getting the call to join Team USA.
She has been training in Colorado Springs, Colorado, for the World Cup race (Aug. 4 through Aug. 7) in Quebec and the World Championship race (Aug. 11 through Aug. 14) in Baie Comeau, Canada.
“I’ve always told everyone, I go into every race I’m going to do the best I can but I’m going to soak in as much information, as much knowledge as I possibly can,” Brim said at the WOOD TV8 Live Desk Tuesday.
While in Colorado Springs, Brim had the opportunity to train at a high level, increased altitude and under some elite coaching. She worked with cyclist and four-time Olympic silver medalist Sarah Hammer-Kroening, who said Brim soaked up all the knowledge she could.
“She’s (Brim) definitely very much a student of the sport,” said Hammer-Kroening, who serves as an associate director of high performance for U.S. Paracycling.
Hammer-Kroening said an athlete like Brim is what coaches dream of.
“This is what I love to do,” Hammer-Kroening said of coaching. “Getting to work with these athletes, they always shock me, you know especially working in the Paralympic space.”
She added that coming from the Olympic side of competition,s working with athletes at this level is a reward.
“Of all of the athletes I’ve come across kind of in that beginning phase, she (Brim) has some of the most grit and determination that I’ve seen so far,” Hammer- Kroening said.
“I’ve taken in so much information and learned so much knowledge that I know I would’ve never gained had I not taken the experiences,” Brim said of training with Hammer-Kroening. “I just go into it with as much of an open mind as I can.”
Following the August races, Brim said, her plans are undecided. She’s focused on those races but is also exploring a residency program at the Olympic and Paralympic training center in Colorado Springs, where she would live and continue her training.