Jorden Savoury, U2 Arts, is one of McGill’s star track and field athletes. She competes in the 60 metres, 300 metres, 4×200 metre relays, and long jump. Her performance in the 25th McGill Team Challenge in January 2020 was nothing short of impressive. Savoury broke McGill records in both the 60 metre relay and long jump.
“I was very ready for the meet [and] prepared really well,” Savoury said in an interview with The McGill Tribune. “I went into that [meet] very confident, knowing that I am able to do really well and that’s exactly what happened. I got two personal bests.”
Competing in multiple track & field events can be a challenge for many athletes, but Savoury considers these different events to be complementary in her preparation.
“60 metres is executing your fast speed. Three hundred metres is a long sprint [which requires] speed endurance. [In] long jump, you [have] a lot to work on—your takeoff, landing, run-up, [and] approach,” Savoury said. “Each event I do is technical in its own way, but they help each other.”
Savoury, who is one of Canada’s 2021 and 2024 Olympic hopefuls, takes this status as a motivating force rather than a source of stress.
“[Being considered an Olympic hopeful] is not an expectation; it’s more of a motivation,” Savoury said. “I [always] have it at the back of my mind. It is my biggest goal. The motivation keeps me on my toes. If I am having a bad day, I think of my dreams and goals.”
Apart from athletics, Savoury has a keen interest in modeling. She has modeled for the Redbird Sports Shop and her outdoor club, Saint-Laurent Select, whose mission is to promote athletic events among youth.
“[I have] two big different dreams: One is the Olympics and the other is modeling,” Savoury said. “Modeling allows me to express my fashion and true colors as a person [….] Modeling for the McGill clothing line was so fun.”
The pandemic has disrupted Savoury’s training schedule as well as her modeling work, but she has managed to adapt to the social-distancing measures.
“The pandemic has hit us hard,” Savoury said. “In March, I continued training as best as I could. I would do bodyweight exercises in the house, run up and down stairs, [and] sprint on the concrete, which hurt.”
She also values the company of her teammates and coaches, a comfort lost during the pandemic.
“It’s very hard training on your own,” Savoury said. “You are less motivated [and] it is not as fun.”
Due to the social distancing measures, keeping in touch with coaches and colleagues can be challenging. Despite feelings of isolation, Savoury has stayed connected with her peers both at McGill and Saint-Laurent Select.
“From March to May, it was very hard [because we were] not in touch that much,” Savoury said. “Everyone was in their own space. We have video calls with Saint-Laurent Select to keep in touch. [It’s] not only about track and field, but [about] how life is going [in general, which] really helped me move forward.”
With the university athletics season indefinitely postponed, Savoury is focusing on the present and taking each day as it comes.
“I have an outdoor season, [so] I am in the zone of what’s going on right now,” Savoury said. “To know that Nationals and RSEQs will be cancelled makes me sad, of course. All the hard work I have put in will not be proven in [those] big meets.”
Savoury shares some key life lessons she learned throughout her journey as a student-athlete.
“I have learned about being patient,” Savoury said. “Things don’t always go your way. I had surgery [and] could not do my sport for three years. I train five times a week as a full-time student. I need to plan my week, [my] food, [and] when I am going to study [so that] I am not stressed [….] Patience and time management are two key things I have learned from my sport.”