A week before the Games
- Friday, 29 July 2016 17:15
Before the Olympic Games begin, I wanted to “put pen to paper” one last time (sounds better than “type on my keyboard”). We are a week away from our first race and I am ready to go. However, I would like to stop the clock. These last moments are intense. Intense on the water with some speed work to sharpen our blades. But it is also intense in terms of team, human interactions, crew spirit and life experience.
I can’t help but looking back over my shoulder at all those years and the progress I have made. It was quite an adventure to be able to race in Rio. I feel like the experience I have now will be a real asset on the start line. Today, I feel confident and calm. Quite a change compared to London 2012 where I was in a state of uncertainty thinking about the “what if’s”. As I said, I feel confident, focused on my job in my boat with one expectation: deliver the best race of the year on D-Day. Simple, direct and efficient.
The past few weeks have been well managed. I wouldn’t say it was perfect or it would be a lie. It can’t be perfect. But the way you adapt to your environment makes it perfect. We had to deal with a sweltering heat wave making it difficult to train and to recover. The Ontario wind is part of daily routine here in Guelph. Plus you always have to deal with minor injuries due to intense training. It can be hard to get your bearings if you don’t trust your capacity as a crew. We have tight and strong crew and since last year, our motto is “no matter what”. The goal is to go fast, no matter what the conditions, no matter who is in the boat, no matter who we are facing. But we care about how we do it!
I am about to go to my 3rd Olympic Games but it will be my 1st experience for Canada. This is something unique and special. I feel like I re-discover a world and it throws me back 8 years ago in Beijing when I was young and naïve on the Shunyi rowing course. New world, new people, different methods,... Now 30 years old, I feel rejuvenated (except for the grey hair...).
My goal is to focus on my performance. A lot is happening in the world of sport at the moment. It is sad and unfortunate. However, we have so much to experience and to do. Our minds are fully focused on the regatta coming up.
Our team will stay at a hotel close to the Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas but far away from the Olympic Village tumult. We are going to bike to the course and stay in our own bubble. Is it a good thing? No matter where we are, I have fun and I enjoy the last moments of this quadrennial.
I would like to finish this post by thanking all the people who are part of my journey. So much support and it means a lot to me, to us. I think of all my friends and family in France who might wear the traditional Blue-White and Red colors but are going to cheer for Canada “no matter what”!
Now focus on one thing: “Attention...GO”.
“The adventure goes on...”