London Olympics 2012
May 28th, 2012 by Gavin
My neighbour has seen me drag my bike bag up and down the alleyway for 5 years now and only last week he asked me what I was up to !
Are you going to the Olympics?’ he asked me. ‘Possibly’ I said with a smile.
I am still not sure if he knows for which sport exactly. Cycling maybe ? But then they just cycle around in a pack and can’t swim or run
A triathlete and proud
I have returned home from Madrid and although I did not finish the race due to an ongoing injury and indeed admittedly haven’t had the best run of results this year I have done enough over a 2 year period to qualify Ireland a slot in this years London Games.
‘Lay down there on the ground and ill spray your leg with some water and you’ll be fine . . you know, like the footballers do’
‘Do you have any of that magic water ?’ I asked Paddy Behan from the Specialized Team
‘Ill check in the van’ he said with a smile
(moments later coming back with some custom skewers that made me smile)
I’d should apologise for the drama, stress and uncertainty that I have caused in recent weeks. To my family, friends, coaches and loyal sponsors I thank you for your patience and support.
One of my best mates summed it up quite eloquently in a text message :
‘it’s about bloody time, you would have looked a right pratt at this stage if you fooked that up again, plus I booked my flights to London ages ago’.
My name will now go forward to the Olympic Council of Ireland (along with Aileen of course ! Not a bad team mate ! #hero) having secured Ireland a slot in the mens Olympic triathlon for the first time . . or something like that. It has been tough but ultimately rewarding, firstly at this present time and no doubt in the weeks and days to come.
It means a lot for me personally to compete in London but I have come to realise that it also means so much for so many other people – I am taking great satisfaction and energy from their delight and support. Whilst being injured and having to still chase points, races and rankings, I have to admit to being a little bit frustrated and often ‘down’ at times in the past few months. My motivation to manage myself as best as possible came not as intrinsically as before but often stemmed purely from a fear of letting others down. I have been sitting on the verge in the last few months and although the media look to the top of the rankings (and rightly so) there has also be an epic dog fight at the other end. Athletes from all over the world with the same dream. Federations with the same goals. Never before have I seen so many struggling bodies and worn out faces ! Back to the hotels and airports – satisfied and happy athletes performing and securing their places – heartbroken athletes realising the dream is over.
Sometimes its ‘not in the clamour of the crowded streets nor in the shouts and plaudits of the throng but within ourselves are victory and defeat’.
Athletes scrambling to book new flights. Athletes frustrated at not making start lists. And then there is the drama of the athletes fighting and bitching for spots within their own team - ‘no no no no drama’ - There are many different games being played out, each with their own complications, advantages and disadvantages. Races within races, ranking systems within ranking systems. Is it any wonder the medalists from previous games were selected in advance of the Olympic year ?
The following week there will be a World Cup or a Championship series event but unless your really into Triathlon and appreciate events like those it doesn’t mean much to the average sports fan. It is a journey to hear a starting horn that only sounds every 4 years.
It’s the Olympics isn’t it, the greatest sport show on earth ! How awesome is that !