Camryn Rogers is an only child and Shari Rogers is a single parent.
That means the two spent a lot of time together as Camryn grew from a young girl in Richmond, British Columbia into Cal’s only track and field entry to the Tokyo Olympics.
“Maybe because I was kind of on my own with her and we were sort of joined at the hip, she got used to our lifestyle,” says Shari, a 51-year-old hairdresser. “We were on the go a lot. I took her everywhere with me.”
There was really no alternative. Camryn was 3 years old when her father left. He has not been part of her life since then.
There are others who contributed to Camryn’s upbringing — friends and neighbors, and later coaches, including Cal throws coach Mo Saatara. Shari Rogers appreciates the community that has provided them so much support.
“We want people to know that they’re along for the journey as well,” Shari says. “They make a difference. They share in it.”
Most of the time, however, it was mother and daughter. At home together. At work. Back and forth to practice. All those moments no one else saw.
None of that is lost on Camryn, now 22.
“She was my everything and she continues to be my everything,” Camryn says. “The person I am is because of her.”
At Tokyo, Rogers will compete Sunday (Saturday at 5:10 p.m., California time) in qualifying for the hammer throw, where she is ranked fifth in the world this year, behind three Americans and Polish world-recordholder Anita Wlodarczyk.
Rogers broke the collegiate record this spring while defending her NCAA title and her mark of 75.52 meters (247 feet, 9 inches) is the best by a Canadian since 2014, when Sultana Frizell set the national record of 75.73 (248-5).
Rogers believes who she is has contributed to her success in track and field. Her Mom is at the heart of that.
“Honestly, just watching her live her life taught me so much about the kind of person I want to be, the kind of person I strive to be every single day,” Camryn says. “How I can always be a better version of myself. How there’s always goals and things we need to achieve.
“Watching her make sacrifices, do everything she could . . . so I could try and achieve everything that I wanted to. I don’t know if I could ever give her enough thanks for that.”
Shari Rogers says she has seen this potential in her daughter from her earliest days in the sport. During chilly winter months, young Camryn sometimes would continue to train, despite ice and snow.
“She just kept going and kept going, never complaining,” her mom says, describing Camryn as focused and driven, confident but humble.
Asked to sum up her daughter in one word, Shari failed miserably.
“Wow, I don’t know if I could say it as one. She is extremely resilient. She is fierce. And all the while very grateful and she has a kind heart.”
Camryn Rogers blushes a bit at the compliment.
“My gosh, I’m getting those all tattooed on my arm, Mom.”
Cover photo of Camryn Rogers and Shari Rogers courtesy of Shari Rogers
Follow Jeff Faraudo of Cal Sports Report on Twitter: @jefffaraudo