I've known Kaylyn since I was about 11 or 12. We both grew up in the north end of Saskatoon and played Hollandia Div 1 soccer together since I can remember. In all the years we've played on the same team and in the years since, I've always known Kaylyn to have unmatched skill when it comes to leadership, motivation, and goal scoring. Once a lanky, four-eyed blonde, this Sports Illustrated super model has only grown stronger in her determination and passion for the game. Soccer is Kaylyn's "thing" and there's no denying it!
One of my fondest memories of Kaylyn was years ago as we were practicing in Marion M Graham park, gearing up for a new season of outdoor. Out of what seemed to be nowhere, I noticed Kaylyn's talent and skill had sky-rocketed. I remember thinking to myself, "Someone's been practicing!" She had been: day and night, this girl played and perfected. It wasn't long after that she was noticed and credited for her hard-earned gift.
Kaylyn has worked extremely hard to get to where she is today. From a small-time Saskatoon player to an Olympic athlete competing against the world's greatest, I know I speak for the city of Saskatoon when I say we cannot be more proud of her! I was honoured to get the opportunity to do a pre-Olympic photo shoot with Kaylyn back in April and I'm looking forward to a post-Olympic shoot with her proudly wearing a gold medal around her neck.
How excited are you to be playing in the London 2012 Summer Olympics? Where are you staying and what are your accommodations like?
I cannot put into words how excited I am, I remember watching when I was a little girl with my family and thinking to myself, "I'm going to be a gymnast!" well, to the people that know me, I'm the furthest thing from grace and elegance:) So I am so happy to be given the opportunity to pursue my dreams in soccer.
What kind of Canadian Olympic swag did you get?
We are one of the best dressed countries. When we arrived we recieve a huge bag full of goodies!
What does playing in the Olympics mean to you?
That all the hard work that not only I have put in but my family, friends and coaches have put in has paid off in a good way. Without my family I definitely would not be where I am, and without my true friends always supporting me, even though I'm always gone and can't be there with for them with they have their big events in life, they are still some of my biggest supporters and on shitty days they are always telling me that I could have it worse, so I always keep those friends very close to me!
What kind of results are you looking to attain during your Olympic experience? Team? Personal?
As a team we obviously want to podium and personally I want to leave a legacy for Canadian Soccer and for the young girls that are one day aspiring to play for their country; we have never hit the podium at a major event and it would be something that would go down in history!
Does winning gold seem out of reach to you?
No, and if it happened I would go MIA for the month! I would be so proud to be Canadian and to have come from Saskatchewan and to have achieved something so amazing!
What are the positives and negatives to playing with a team compared to an individual sport?
The positives are that these girls are some of my best friends, so when i'm having a shitty day they know it and know how to get me in a good mood, and vice versa. Also, playing on a team makes you mature and grow very quickly; you adapt to different people in different ways. A negative for a team sport is that it's easy to hide. But on our team, we call each other on our bullshit.
Do you feel like you are in the best shape of your life? What’s a day in the life of an Olympian during the games?
Yes, I always have been in great shape so I didn't think it was possible to get fitter, faster and stronger, but our trainer proved me wrong! With him I have been able to improve my fitness 2 levels which is extremely hard, and I've also have become more powerful!
What’s your favorite pregame meal? What’s the worst thing you have eaten before a game?
I love a veggie wrap for my pre game!!!! And as for the worst thing I have eaten, I think I was running late and grabbed a muffin and thought I would have enough energy to last a full 90, I was proven wrong at minute 40!
As you have progressed as a professional athlete, what mental issues or mental blockages have come about? How do you deal or overcome them?
There have been some days when I haven't wanted to get out of bed to be honest, then I quickly realize that all of this can be taken away so easily. it sounds super cheesy but I have a piece of paper I travel with and says "work harder than your opponent, but work even harder than your teammate... never say can't and won't... If you skip a day of workout you're a day behind every other country.... being average is not the best...who wants to be average?" I have never told anyone about that... it's an exclusive for The Rooster :)
How do you mentally prepare for games?
I'm a pretty crazy person, I love to dance and be an idiot. But about 10 minutes before we hit the field I visualize this same play in my head, not sure why I do it but have for about 3 years.
Besides personal achievement and team success/recognition, what has soccer give you?
A passion. not only for the game, but for life!! It makes me realize how truly lucky I am, and I get to share that with the best people in the world; family, friends, fans!
Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
Hopefully still playing, or doing something with sports!
What’s life after soccer?
Happiness!! Whatever and however life brings that to me i'll run with it!
We all know Kaylyn Kyle Canadian Professional Athlete, but who is Kaylyn Kyle?
I feel like I'm signing up for Lava life!!! I would put anyone I hold close to me before myself. Caring, fun, energetic, LOVER OF LIFE, family is everything. Haha honestly I don't know. I just love to have a good time with life and I always make sure I'm laughing or around people that make me laugh!
What’s the craziest thing a fan has done for or to you?
I got asked to go to grad this year.... Felt like a HUGE cougar!
What’s the secret behind your golden long blonde locks?
The secret: I CAN'T believe i'm going to say this... I put it on twitter a while ago, but here goes nothing. MANE AND TAIL, I use it once or twice a week (yes it's for horses) but it's honestly amazing! I get the gears all the time from my teammates when they step into the shower.
What’s the best advice you have ever been given?
You'll never make it. Yes i wrote that right! I had so many haters growing up and without them I wouldn't be where I am, I love proving people wrong and I love doing and achieving things that people don't think is possible! So to all those who told me I was never good enough. YOU'RE THE BEST!
What’s your favorite memory of playing with the Hollandia Tigers?
Ohhhhhh man, it's a toss up between the crimped hair and the Minneapolis cup.
Who was your all time Hollandia Gremio crush?
Kerr Mcleod, he was a heart throbber!!!! Still love the kid!
Who did you look up to growing up, who was your mentor? What teammate did you look up to during the days of playing with Hollandia?
My sister and my sister.... as much as she hated it and I never told her I thought the world of her!
If you weren’t a professional soccer player, what do you think you would be doing right now in your life?
Probably living in the mountains, snowboarder by winter, mountain biker by summer!
Good luck to Kaylyn and the rest of Team Canada!