Most athletes work their whole lives to try to be a world-class athlete. Jaime (Cruickshank) Boyer was able to compete internationally in three sports before she turned 20.
Growing up in Saskatoon, Boyer was an energetic youngster who enjoyed gymnastics and found she excelled in tumbling and trampoline.
In 1998, she qualified for four events at the World Age Group Power Tumbling and Trampoline Championship, finishing sixth in her age group in tumbling. That appearance came after she was the Novice Power Tumbling gold medal winner at the Canadian Power Tumbling and Trampoline Championship.
In 1999, she was the Novice Double Mini Trampoline gold medal winner at the Canadian Power Tumbling and Trampoline Championship. She also won the 1996 Western Championship in her age group in power tumbling. Boyer was also the power tumbling and trampoline provincial champion from 1997-99.
A growth spurt led to a change of direction for Boyer. She decided to switch her focus to athletics and found her greatest success as a hurdler.
Boyer set a Canadian record at the 2003 World Youth Track & Field Championships in the 100-metre hurdles. She also qualified for the 2004 World Youth Track & Field Championships where she finished 12th in the 100m hurdles.
She also excelled in the long jump, winning gold at the 2003 Junior National Track & Field Championship and competing at the Pan-American Junior Championship. She won gold in the long jump at the 2003 Legion National Track & Field Championship.
Closer to home, Boyer won five gold medals at the 2004 Saskatchewan High School Athletic Association provincial track meet and was the senior girls’ aggregate winner. Boyer won the 80m hurdles, 100m, 200m, long jump and 4x100m relay. Her time in the 80m hurdles is a provincial record that still stands. The previous record was set by Boyer’s aunt Lesia Pillapow.
She had a plan to compete in heptathlon after high school, but that all changed when she was invited to visit the bobsleigh program in Calgary. In a pair of sweatpants she bought in the gift shop, Boyer tried a few starts in the training centre. Her times were better than any of the other women in the program and she was offered an opportunity to join the national bobsled program.
The decision led to Boyer achieving her Olympic dream shortly after her 20th birthday. She was the youngest bobsleigh competitor at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Turin where she finished 13th in the two-woman bobsleigh.
She was a member of the first Canadian women’s team to compete on the Fédération Internationale de Bobsleigh et de Tobogganing (FIBT) World Cup circuit. In 2006, she finished second in the two-woman bobsleigh event at the FIBT Bobsleigh World Cup stop in Lake Placid where she set the world start record.
She finished fourth in the mixed bobsleigh-skeleton team event at the 2007 FIBT World Championship in St. Moritz, Switzerland and also won a silver medal at the 2007 FIBT World Junior Bobsleigh Championship.
Installed in the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame on September 23, 2023.