t has been a bit of time since the Rio games and I thought I would write about what I learned. The key takeaway for me, it is not all about winning.
When the microphone was thrust at Mark de Jonge right after missing the podium he said you have to enjoy the process and not just the end goal. I am happy with my prep and I will learn from this. I have read a great deal on resilience and mindfulness BUT this was the best teaching.
The last night saw us in Canada house with women’s soccer and the whole kayak team. The tragically hip played on the big screen and I believe a lot of people in the room put their wins, or loses, in perspective as a man in the last stages of cancer sang his heart out.
Here were some other magical moments for me:
I will never forget a 30 year old female athlete (married with a 2 year old daughter) running across Canada House and leaping into my arms after making the A final in her first, and possibly last Olympics. I have worked with Genny for over 10 years, through some tough times. She whispered “you were the only one that stuck with me this whole time.”
A three time Olympic shedding tears and telling me how she felt about letting sport scientists into her program after 12 years of doing it “her way”. She said “I get it now! You need to keep this up and I wish I would have realized this earlier. Thank you so much for this.”
And Mark, one of the best athletes, and people, I have ever been around. It was hard to watch Mark not hit his goal. I slapped him on the backside as he walked by in Canada house and sternly said “get your head up you have nothing to be ashamed of. The country loves you and so do I.”
I heard Warren Buffett speak recently and he said the key is to find a career that you would do even if you weren’t paid. There is a lot of truth to this. I learned a lot that week and have memories for a lifetime.