I must apologise like always for the delay in getting this post out. It has been a long time now since the Olympics, however to me it is still a fresh memory that lives with me and will hopefully stay that way for a long time to come! I hope you all enjoyed watching quite a remarkable Olympic Games as a whole and for me to be part of it was an amazing privilege. To all of those who supported me throughout the games, it was a level of support that I have never experienced before nor expected! I can genuinely say it made the whole experience even brighter and certainly gave me a lot of positive energy to work with so a huge thanks to everyone who got behind me and the rest of the AUS Olympic Team!
For me the entire 3 weeks or so felt like an incredible dream. It is hard to exactly explain it in words so I will try and let the photos do the talking! The amount of money that went into the games was truly astonishing! I am certainly among the many who saw that money could have for sure been used for arguably better purposes, however to not appreciate the Games and what the Russian people presented the world with would be a real waste. So this is the mentality that I chose to keep throughout the entire Games, and what an enjoyable experience it turned out to be! I should also straight up thank the amazing volunteers and AUS Olympic staff and coaches for there amazing assistance throughout the games. They made the experience so much easier and more enjoyable too!
To live in the Endurance Village was amazing! Such a great atmosphere to be part of and to have three weeks living in a 5 star resort was quite a treat! Unfortunately I didn’t take so many photos of the inside of our village, however with a 24hr dining room, pool, spa, and every type of sauna you could possibly think of, you can get the idea that we were somewhat spoilt.
The opening ceremony has now become the most memorable event of my life. To walk in with the rest of the team gave me a feeling that I can’t really express in words. I suppose that’s when it really began to sink in just where I was and what I was doing – living a dream I always questioned would ever become reality!
As you can see from the photos and for those who watched it, it was a pretty incredible performance that was put on. I am far out of my league when it comes to talking about artistic performances and such, however to my eye it was beyond impressive!
The events were a bit of a mixed bag really. The 30km Skiathlon was my first event and to line up in the mass start was something pretty special. Pure excitement yes, but also the adrenaline and nerves were probably even higher than what they have ever been! During these 3 weeks it became very clear to me that the Olympic rings are probably the most respected and meaningful symbols on the global scale. Everyone knows what they stand for, however on a normal yearly basis they are rarely even seen! There are so many rules and restrictions behind the use of the rings, however once at the Olympic venue they are all of a sudden everywhere!! To line up with all the other skiers in that stadium made me know this was the real deal and it was time to try and prove myself and all that I had worked towards. This result was one that I was happy with. I had good skis and felt as though my weaker classic leg was actually reasonable compared with what it had been in other races this season. Despite some cramping issues in the final part of the skate leg I gained more positions back and left everything out there to finish 60th.
The freestyle sprint was a real disaster. Extremely soft conditions meant that the fastest corner on the 1.8km track was an absolute mess making it very difficult to even get around. Unfortunately like many others, I crashed out on this corner ending any chances of a reasonable result. The 15km Classic was one of the toughest races both mentally and physically. My shape actually felt quite reasonable on the day, however the skis were probably some of the worst I have ever been given in terms of speed. The grip was great and given a very hilly course I was grateful for that, however not even the best in the world would have skied anywhere close to the front on those skis. It hurts a lot to have everything based around these events for such a long time and to have your result so badly effected by this is quite frustrating. Bleeding time on every down and flat, being passed by skiers then catching them again on the ups to only be dropped again is devastating and something very hard to deal with at the time. I am glad however that I still threw everything at it and did the very best I could with the situation I was given.
The Classic Team sprint was a special event and to have shared this with my Team Mate Phil was something pretty special. The result again was not was we were hoping for, so much more to work on in many areas before next time!