We've all crashed out of races. We've had tough swims and not made the pack. We've been beat up, drowned, panicked and then screwed up, cramped out, passed out, lapped out, or been running for porta-potties instead of the finish line. We've had penalties, flats, mechanicals. We've DNF'ed and DFL'ed. Not achieved our expectations, or surpassed them. It is all a part of racing, and we learn from it and eventually move on. What makes it more emotional is that this is THE A race. And 4 years is a significant amount of time to dedicate every second of it to just another race. The Olympics may be a more dramatic learning experience than any other (except for maybe the Olympic qualifiers), but our Olympians will be ok; they have always had to be tougher than everyone else.
This is the first time I've actually watched the Olympics. You know, woke up at 3 in the morning to watch BC athlete's prelims from the CTV app on my phone even though they'll never know we're cheering. Stayed up all night having race watching parties with the team. Cried every time our athletes won and cried when our athletes lost. Actually that is somewhat figurative because it seems to me like it is the boys here who are literally tearing up all over the place. I always get the most choked seeing the post event hugs from those who have been with the athletes every step of the way. Sheila & Adrienne Findlay during Paula's race, the mens pair and their coach.. sniff! I was actually relieved when my TV stopped working for a day because this whole Olympic thing has been way more emotionally draining than I ever imagined. Harden up Kyla Coates- nobody died!
In the end, we feel the athlete's loss, and we're stoked for their wins, but in no way are we ever disappointed in them for being world class, for doing their best, and dedicating these last 4 years to give it their best shot.
Despite everything, it really is just another race. And just like any other race you prepare to be the best, but anything can happen. Great Work so far Team Canada. In all sports! The rest of us- we got your back :).