Midale native Keely Shaw was in her first cycling race in 2017, and from there the only thing faster than speed on the track has been her journey up the ranks of the sport. Just over four years later, she's going to the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. 

Team Canada announced their official roster for their Para cycling team for the games yesterday, and Shaw is one of nine members of the team. She'll be traveling to Tokyo in mid-August and arriving just over a week before her first race. 

"I don't know if it's actually hit me in all of its entirety yet," she said. "I don't know that it necessarily will until I'm on a plane to Tokyo, or potentially until I'm on... for my first race. I'm so honored to be on that list named amongst some of the greatest para cyclists our country has ever seen."

Shaw is aiming to add her own name to that conversation and is well on her way, already with several national accolades to her name and an impressive international showing at the Para-Cycling World Track Championships in Milton, Ontario early last year. Now she has a chance to put her stamp on the international stage again. 

"I think when I started I had hopes of making a Paralympic team maybe, just maybe if I held my tongue just right it might be a possibility," she said. "But for it to be the next games, the 2020 now the 2021 games, it's definitely been a bit of a whirlwind of a ride when you think that my first international race was March of 2018, it's only been about three years of racing internationally. Two, actually, because 2020 didn't exist."

Although COVID-19 had its impact on Shaw's ability to race, it didn't hinder her ability to train. She's been traveling to and from Ontario to train and just getting on her bike to get around Saskatoon. On the track, she's been working with coaches to improve everything from her start to her aerodynamics once she's in full flight. 

"It was almost nice to have a full summer with no races," she said, "if only because it actually gave us some time to train and to focus as opposed to the constant peaking leading up to a race, racing, recovering, and then having to do it all over again that typically becomes our summer."

Shaw isn't done training either as she was in Ontario today and will make one more journey there in August before finally making a long-awaited trip to Tokyo. When she goes there, she knows she'll be taking the support of her home town all the way. 

"The last 24 hours have been absolutely overwhelming," she said. "The calls, the texts, the Facebook messages, Instagram posts, everything. I've had so much support from really, primarily, Midale, Estevan, and Weyburn areas. I still have a ton of friends and family supporters from hometown Midale. It's been incredible."