This Regina athlete is heading to the 2020 Summer Paralympics in Tokyo

Jessica Frotten will represent Canada at the 2020 Summer Paralympics in Tokyo. (Courtesy: Jessica Frotten)

Jessica Frotten has been through a whirlwind two weeks, after finding out she will represent Canada at the 2020 Summer Paralympics in Tokyo later this month.

Frotten is one of 16 making the trip with Team Canada’s wheelchair racing team. She’s been training to complete in the 400 metre, 800 metre, 1,500 metre and 4x100 universal relay.

“I’m so proud about making this team, I’ve been working so hard, but it’s also the strangest Olympics in history,” Frotten told CTV News.

She began training as a wheelchair racer in 2015. Frotten did not qualify for the Olympics in Rio, making this her first Olympic appearance.

Given the small team size, Frotten said this was one of the most difficult years to make the team in its history.

Her coach said that although the last 18 months have challenged every athlete, Frotten took the opportunity to push herself even further.

“We didn’t have the opportunity to train together through the winter, so she was fairly reliant on [herself],” Rick Reelie, Frotten’s coach said. “She jumped it up a couple of notches in her training and you can really see that when she gets a chance to perform.”

While Frotten is “over the moon” about qualifying, she wishes that her family and friends could be there to support her.

“I know that my family and friends across Canada will be staying up really late and getting up really early and screaming at their TVs,” she said.

Born and raised in the Yukon, Frotten moved to Regina for what was, at the time, Canada’s first spinal cord injury recovery centre. It was there she says her life changed as she regained a lot of function, and was eventually introduced to the world of adaptive sports.

“I’ve really been taken in by the whole sports community and it’s amazing I can’t wait to get out there and put on that Canada jersey,” Frotten said.

The Paralympics begin on Aug. 24, with Frotten making her debut on Aug. 28.