‘Ready to grind it out’: Rackel preparing for 2021 Summer Olympics

CALGARY — Morgan Rackel’s happy place is on the ball diamond. She’s been playing the game of softball for as long as she can remember.

“My whole life. My parents actually met playing slo-pitch, so it was kind of like bread into me,” she said.

The 21-year-old is a softball pitcher and can bring some serious heat. Over the years she’s gotten so good that when she was going to school in Tennessee, she got a call up from Team Canada.

Rackel calls it luck, but she made the most of her opportunity.

“I got the call from the Team Canada coach. They were playing in the pro league in the United States two hours away from where I was going to school,” she said.

“He said, ‘Hey, if you’d like to come throw for me you can,’ and I was like, absolutely. So I drove up there and threw for him and on the way back I got a phone call from him and he said, ‘We want you to move up here in 24 hours and join the team.”

It was always Morgan’s dream to play for Canada.

She’s the only Albertan on the team and has become a big inspiration to other softball players in the province.

Gabby Corderre has been catching for Rackel and she says it’s been an amazing experience.

“It’s every softball player’s dream to play for Team Canada. So I think it’s a huge honour for me to be able to catch for her,” she said.

“To see that dream become a reality, I mean, she’s living our dream, so it’s really incredible.”

Rackel was very excited to pitch for Canada at what was supposed to be the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan this year. But those dreams were dashed when the Games were put on hold because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now she’s turning her attention to 2021 when the games have been re-scheduled for. She’s worked hard to stay ready and says she’s excited for next month.

“We have a camp coming up on September for Canadian residents only,” she said.

“We have a couple of girls in the States and unfortunately they can’t come up here because of the borders. But I’m ready to see my teammates. I’m ready to train with them and grind it out.”

Rackel’s dad, Lorne says it’s going to be an emotional day for the entire family when she is on the mound pitching for Team Canada at the Olympics.

“I’m going to be overtaken by emotion for sure. I am right now even talking about it. Just to see all that hard work has paid off,” he said. “I’m really proud of her.”

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