Beyond the Match: Kyra Constantine is proud to represent Team Canada in national competitions

Constantine has been competing for Team Canada since Grade 10, and recently represented Canada at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic games

Kyra Constantine is a cross-country athlete who recently competed at the World Athletics Championship representing Team Canada. (Submitted)

Kyra Constantine is a cross-country athlete who recently competed at the World Athletics Championship representing Team Canada. (Submitted)

Canadian sprinter Kyra Constantine recently helped Team Canada reach the final round at the World Athletics Championship. 

Constantine began running in grade school. It started with cross-country running in the third grade, then track in fifth grade. From grade school to college, her running career has spanned over 10 years. 

In her years of competing, Constantine has gathered accolades and reached milestones. In college she won gold in the 4×400 2018 NCAA championship, and a year later received gold again at the NACAC U23 Championships 400 metre race. 

Outside of her college races, Constantine competed for Team Canada in the 2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic games. She recently participated in the 4×400 relay race at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games.

From the joy she feels before the race and when the race is completed, to the feeling of accomplishment and opportunity to meet new people, Constantine has always enjoyed every aspect of track. 

After battling COVID-19 in March and getting injured during practice, her season has not gone the way she expected. She recently got back into competing again in the World Athletics, something she describes as a highlight, especially since it was her first time taking the Canadian team to the finals. 

Team Canada had the opportunity to send 59 athletes to represent the country in the World Athletics Championships last month. Athletes participated in various races like the 100 metres, 200 metres, 800 metres, 4×100 metres and 4×400 metres. The men’s 4×100 relay team were awarded the gold medal on July 24, the last day of the championship. 

For the World Athletics competition, Constantine felt more calm than she usually does for her other races. Since it was a relay race, she says she wasn’t sure where she would receive the baton. With that in mind, her main focus was to get the baton and run as fast as she could.  

She tries not to “overhype” her competitions because it can make her more nervous. So, for this race, she focused on making sure her teammates were okay and maintaining a calm mindset. 

Representing Team Canada fills her with pride and honour. 

“I think it’s a really big honour to have [the] opportunity to [represent] your country, and I’ve been doing it since I was in Grade 10 and the feeling never changes,” she says. 

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic games was one of her most memorable accomplishments. Ever since Constantine was little, she’s always dreamt of going to the Olympics.

“It was such a big thing throughout my whole life. To finally get to go was definitely an overwhelming emotional experience; overwhelming in a good way,” she says. “The whole time I felt like I was in a dream. It didn’t feel real until it was over.” 

To compete at a high level, Constantine follows a routine curated by her coaches. She begins her training in the fall around October, which includes longer distance running and training on hills. In the spring, she focuses more on sprinting. 

With the conclusion of the World Athletics Championship, Constantine looks forward to participating in the open 400 metres and 4×400 metres race at the Commonwealth Games, which is held in Birmingham, United Kingdom from July 28 until Aug. 8, 2022. 

“Track has helped shape me. I definitely recommend it to younger kids because track could take you [to] so many places that you will never know. I’ve been to China, Colombia, [and] Peru. It takes you to so many cool places, you meet so many cool people. I definitely recommend it.”