By Jeff Slovin, Contributing Writer
Southborough – The story of Korey Dropkin’s Olympic dream begins thousands of miles from Seoul, South Korea, host of this coming winter’s Olympic Games. Born in Boston and raised in Southborough, the 22-year-old curler was introduced to the game by his family when he was 5 years old.
“I was born and bred within the community at [the Broomstones Curling Club in Wayland],” said Dropkin. “My family was involved in the youth curling program so I learned when I was pretty young.”
With his family playing a crucial role in his development as a curler, Dropkin began his competitive career when he was 11, quickly rising through the ranks of junior curling and following in the footsteps of his older brother Stephen, himself an accomplished curler throughout his formative years.
From 2010 through 2016, Dropkin made a name for himself on the national junior circuit, winning three United States Junior Curling championships. On the world stage Dropkin continued that success finishing second at the World Junior Championship in 2016.
In the midst of his stellar junior career Dropkin moved to Minnesota, the hub of curling in the United States, to continue his training and elevate his game to one day be able to compete at the Winter Olympics. Today, after closing out his stellar junior career, he is a part-time student at University of Minnesota-Duluth as he prepares for the 2018 Olympic curling trials, held Nov. 11-18 in Omaha, Neb.
“Normally I spend about four, five, or six days in the gym, and then another couple hours on the ice,” said Dropkin, speaking about his training for the trials. “Another big thing in my day is eating. [My trainer] wants me taking in a lot of calories, so I’ll spend a fair amount of time eating and training in the gym and on the ice. I’ll also do psychological training and resting and recovering with yoga.”
While training takes up a bulk of his time, Dropkin is also a part of Dick’s Sporting Goods Contenders program which supports Olympic hopefuls as they prepare for and compete in their respective sports. It provides them employment that offers a competitive wage and a flexible work schedule that accommodates an intense training schedule. To date, there are approximately 40 winter sport athletes currently working at Dick’s stores while training to make Team USA.
“It’s really awesome for the athletes that work there,” he noted. “They give us so much support to work toward making our dreams a reality.”
For Dropkin, the ultimate dream is Olympic gold.
“All the time and energy I put into training, competing, and traveling takes away from other things I may be interested in doing, but with all the decisions I make I have to keep in mind the success I’m looking to have,” he said. “The Olympics are [less than] a hundred days away so I have to keep my eyes on the prize and keep pushing.”
About achieving a gold medal, Dropkin said, “It would be a dream come true. Everyone who’s an athlete wants to compete at the highest level so to do that and succeed would be awesome…. It would be really cool to prove that anyone, no matter where they grow up or what their situation is, can achieve whatever they want to achieve as long as they set their mind to it and do what they have to do.”