Beyond the Sport in 60 is a new feature segment designed to showcase University of Alberta student-athletes outside of their sport. Golden Bears and Pandas athletes are among the best in Canada, but often have talents that go beyond the field, court, or rink. The first installment of the series showcases Pandas Track & Field medalist, and opera singer Dacia Gramlick.
While not normally thought of as a hotbed of Canadian music, growing up in Stettler, Alberta never stopped Pandas Track and Field athlete Dacia Gramlick from following her passion of classical music. A thrower with the Pandas, Gramlick spends most of her free time in the studio, perfecting her voice as an opera singer.
“I grew up in a small town, with not a lot of musical interest. But my mom really wanted me to get into singing, and getting me lessons.” said Gramlick, who is going into her fourth year in the Bachelor of Music program. “I started training in classical music when I was in Grade 5. And when it came time to decide what to do in school, music or sports, I thought why not both?”
Recruited as a multi-sport Track and Field athlete, Gramlick started focusing on throws after her first year with the Pandas. Just two seasons later, she has become one of the top throwers in Canada West, winning a bronze medal in the women’s 4kg shot put, a fourth place finish in the weight throw, culminating in her first appearance at the U SPORTS Championships last March.
“One thing that coaches always told me during multi-events was my shot put was good, but it was ugly. Then something just clicked. Working with Ciera (Heshka-Wolf), we found something that worked. And being a kinesthetic learner, as long as I slowly do the movements with the coaches, I’ll pick it up.”
Despite her recent success on the field, Gramlick’s main passion is still in classical music, and the performing arts. She has one year left in the bachelor of music program, and hopes that her talent can transform into a career.
“My dream for myself is to do as much performing as I can. Honestly, I love opera and I love musical theater, and I would love to try and pursue a career in both. That would be my ideal.”