Blog Update: Olympics
It’s a great honour to represent your country and I think I’ve developed more of an understanding of this on returning home from London. It’s unlike any other event… being among the best athletes across the sporting codes, working for the same thing. The Olympics brings everyone closer together. Everyone seems to be watching at some stage. I recall the last Olympics where I was glued to the screen and had set up camp in front of the tele!
At the Olympics all the work had been done, and the training sessions were becoming fewer and less intense. There was also less to do, so you’d have to try to find things to keep your mind occupied. I wrote postcards to family and friends back home, and even though I‘m not much of an artist I got out some pastels and a scrapbook. I just wanted to get on the track and start racing!
The few days leading into racing were something we had practiced before, the pre-race day routine, the meeting times, warm-ups, nutrition, etc. It’s nice to be familiar with the routine but the nerves still creep in, right through the race count down to the start beep when you can take your first pedal stroke in the race… where the race anticipation is finally relieved by action.
The Olympic velodrome was packed throughout the racing, the loud music, cheering, a booming heartbeat would sound during tense moments, during the 50 second count down in the starting gates a pre-recorded video clip rolls over on the big screen showing celebrities hushing the crowd and the loud hissing ‘shhh’ echoes around the velodrome. Had a camera in my face, and the coach standing in front of us reinforcing the process ahead. Everything was a level up from anything I’ve experienced in the past. The racing process was the same but I’ve never been so nervous and excited at the same time! It was intense, but I loved it! I felt so many different emotions throughout the whole campaign but I’m learning to accept that it’s all part of the experience – and from talking with other athletes it’s pretty normal.
It was not quite the result we were after but good to come away with a new NZ best time. We just weren’t fast enough for the medals this time.
I’ve been in track cycling for four years now and in that time there has been so much growth amongst the different squads. We have a great group of people in our sport, extending past the athletes to the coaches, support staff and management.
…I’m on the road to Rio 2016.
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