Computing science student celebrates second Olympic bronze
By Marianne Meadahl
SFU computing science student Jasmin Glaesser has earned a second Olympic bronze medal, this time in Rio after her team cycled to third at the Summer Olympics over the weekend. It’s a feat she never could have imagined eight years ago, when she first picked up her dad’s old mountain bike, and soon after became inspired to take up the sport.
Glaesser was part of the women’s team pursuit squad that beat New Zealand in the bronze medal match in Rio on Aug. 13.
With teammates Georgia Simmerling, Kirsti Lay and Allison Beveridge, the Canadian team finished the four-kilometer race nearly four seconds faster than their opponent. The event involves two teams of four cyclers competing at the same time.
“I'm proud to have won another bronze here in Rio, four years after stepping on the podium in London,” said Glaesser from Rio. “Our medal four years ago came as a surprise but this time around it represents four years of hard work, dedication, and commitment.
“While we were hoping to challenge for the gold we were proud to improve on a disappointing qualifying round and continue on to set two new national records in the remaining rounds.”
Well-wishes for the win ranged from a congratulatory tweet from the prime minister to praises from her parents, mom Andrea and dad Uwe Glaesser, Faculty of Applied Sciences dean pro tem and computing science professor, and a recreational cycling enthusiast. She returns home on Friday.
After winning her first bronze at the 2012 London Olympics, Glaesser, now 24, put aside her studies to focus on Rio, and along the way earned a string of medals and acolades, including two gold and two silver medals at the 2015 Pan American Games.
Along with building her success on the track, Glaesser’s future plans include returning to the books and completing her degree. “After putting my studies on hold due to my training and competition, I’m looking forward switching my focus back to education this fall.”
Glaesser says she has yet to decide on her future goals in the sport. “I certainly feel that I have not yet reached my full potential as a cyclist and remain motivated to keep challenging myself,” she says.
“Four years is a long time to dedicate yourself to something so first and foremost I need to make sure the passion is still there. That might mean switching my focus to another discipline, but I love the team pursuit and see a great future in our program.
“For now I am really looking forward to taking a well deserved break, and getting to spend time with the people who have supported my journey thus far.”