Athletics - Heptathlon
"I love being from Saskatchewan and I feel a lot of support from there. Every time I come home people are always congratulating me and asking how everything is going and genuinely interested. I really appreciate all the support."
Brianne Theisen-Eaton describes 2013 as a "huge turning point in my career."
Theisen-Eaton won a silver medal in heptathlon at the IAAF World Championships, setting a new Saskatchewan Athletics Provincial Native and Open Senior Women's record. She also posted a personal best result in the 800m event.
"It was my first world championship where I was a medal contender," said Theisen-Eaton. "I proved to the world that I deserved to be there and I deserved to be on the podium."
Theisen-Eaton placed first in heptathlon and set a personal best in long jump at the Hypo-Meeting (IAAF World Combined Events Challenge). She was second overall in the IAAF World Combined Events Challenge (Decastar).
For her efforts in 2013, Theisen-Eaton received a Saskatchewan Sport Award as the Female Athlete of the Year.
"It feels awesome. Obviously I love being from Saskatchewan and I feel a lot of support from there," said Theisen-Eaton. "Every time I come home people are always congratulating me and asking how everything is going and genuinely interested. I really appreciate all the support."
Theisen-Eaton has been building momentum toward this point her entire career.
She found her niche as a track and field star during her days in high school at Humboldt Collegiate. In 2005, she represented Canada at the World Youth Championships and also took part in the 2006 World Junior Championships. In her senior year, she won gold at the 2007 Pan American Junior Championships.
Theisen-Eaton went to the University of Oregon on a scholarship and majored in business administration. She enjoyed a breakout year in her sophomore season, winning the Pac-10 outdoor title in heptathlon, setting a personal record of 6,086 points to. She won the national heptathlon title and earned a spot on Team Canada for the 2009 World Championships. She also received a mention for all-academic honours.
In her third year, Theisen-Eaton won her first NCAA indoor pentathlon title with 4,396 points. She improved her record to 6,094 points and repeated as the Pac-10 outdoor heptathlon champion. In 2011, she won her second NCAA indoor title, breaking the collegiate record. She won her third NCAA indoor title in 2012, also repeating as the Pac-10 outdoor heptathlon champion with a personal best score of 6,440.
Upon graduating, Theisen-Eaton has started to leave her mark on the world stage. Following her successful 2013 season, she captured silver in pentathlon at the 2014 World Indoor Championships and won gold in heptathlon at the 2014 Commonwealth Games,
"This gold medal makes me really happy. I always said I don't think I would get choked up but I had to fight back a few tears [on the podium]," Theise-Eaton told reporters following her gold-medal performance. "It's just representing your country and knowing everybody back home is happy and watching and supporting you. It feels really good."
Theisen-Eaton looks to keep her momentum going in future world championships and the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. As she does so, she said she'll keep relying on the great support system in Saskatchewan.
"I get support from not only Canada, but my province, my family, my friends, all my supporters and sponsors, and when you have that kind of support and you feel that kind of backing, your motivation becomes wanting to do well for them," she said. "What I would like to say to the people of Saskatchewan is thank you so much. I read all of your Facebook and Twitter messages of support and I appreciate every one of them."
While Theisen-Eaton will try her hardest to win more medals on the world stage, the benefits of sport go beyond the podium for her.
"I love competing to better myself," she said. "It's not always about winning or making money or anything like that. It's just becoming a better person and becoming a strong person."
Theisen-Eaton on health, competition, and her WIkipedia page