Your Games. Your Experience.

July 1 2012. Happy Canada Day!

Soon you will go to London for YOUR Olympics. They will be different than anything you’ve ever done including World Championships, World Cups and other Olympic Games. How they effect – and affect you – is up to you. Everyone is different and being different is just fine. Today I’d like to share with you some advice from the experiences of two incredible competitors, Christine Nesbitt and Clara Hughes.

A year ago, I asked World and Olympic Champion Christine Nesbitt to recount what it was like going to the Vancouver Olympics for her speed skating competitions. I had heard that the atmosphere and noise in the London Velodrome would be similar to that of the speedskating oval in Richmond and I wanted to pass on any tips to Tara Whitten, Zack Bell and our other track cyclists. Her message got back to me a bit late for their test event – but I believe the experience she recounted can surely resonate with you all.

What stuck me in her message was how the energy from the Games – the competition, crowds and the media – resonated with her differently than her teammate, Clara Hughes. Even though both women would win medals at those Games, Christine realized that the way she needed to handle the Olympic energy had to be HER way – not Clara’s or anyone else’s. Some are inspired by the Olympic energy and ride it like a wave – some people need to separate it out and stay focused on their own very specific (and very well trained!) task at hand. Continue reading