Well around this time 2 years ago one of the most exciting, memorable and disappointing moments of my life went down. The 2018 Winter Olympics will always be something that I will remember fondly, it was finally a dream becoming reality.
I do want to share some of the low points of my experience there though as I feel like they are just as important as the highs. The lows were few and far between but there are 2 moments that stick in my memory and are still to this day somewhat hard to swallow.
The Opening Ceremony
The first moment that didn’t live up to the fantasy I had in my head was the opening ceremony. Don’t get me wrong, the performances were beautiful and watching the Olympic flame being lit to mark the beginning of the games was as emotional as it gets.
However the stadium felt completely empty. As I walked out of the waiting tents into the arena I was expecting to see the faces of thousands of sports fans cheering down, instead all I could see were intense LED light displays blocking the crowd from view, and the deafening drone of the announcers and band overshadowed the roar of the crowd.
I will always wish that stadium had allowed us athletes to experience the excitement of a live crowd cheering for us. Instead I will remember walking into a stadium that felt empty.
For anyone who has been following my career for more than 2 years you will already know what happened in heat 1 of the SBX finals. For anyone who watched the race on tv you probably remember a speech that thinly veiled my “distaste” about the situation in a live TV interview. However for those of you who don’t know let me explain.
I was confident, I had been riding really well all through training and qualification, especially in practice heats where there were a few key areas that I was carrying more speed than others. I was feeling good, I was nervous and I was excited. Now before I go on I just want to say SBX is a inconsistent sport, things happen and it’s part of the game so I hold no personal grudges against anyone for what happened in the race.
When it was my turn to step up to the gate for my heat I was ready, however a few mistakes at the start led to a situation I would have preferred to avoid in the second last turn where myself and a competitor collided and went down.
I still think about this moment, and how my life could be different if I had taken a different line or had made a better start. It is a game of inches sometimes and on this occasion I cut it a bit too close.
This post is part 2 of 2 for my Olympic experience, for all the happy points from my Olympic debut (which heavily outweigh the negatives) read the post here.