Today after a quick media session at the course i hopped a cab into town to meet my parents and brother at Canada house. We sat around and had a couple beer and watched some rowing. Canada gets a silver medal!!! Kudos to those two guys. That was one ballsy race they threw down out there. They went for it from the start and didn’t hold back. It was an inspiration to watch, because thats the kind of plan i want to execute. You may get to see the halls, minus Erin, sitting against the wall in Canada house during the coverage of the race; they had a couple of cameras in there while it was going down.
It was another clear and beautiful day in Beijing. Perfect for racing. A light tail wind, not too hot out and nice and sunny. If it’s like this next week be on the lookout for some fast times. I’m still feeling good and beginning to get more “in the zone” as they say. I’ve been very calm all week and as I’ve said bored. Now that we’re closer to racing though I’m getting my head space geared up. I think by Monday I’ll be good to go and ready to race.
The draw came out today and I’ve got Andreas Dittmer (Germany) and David Cal (Spain) in my heat. Andreas is one of, if not the best canoer of all time. Cal is the defending Olympic champ in c-1 1000m. I’ve raced Dittmer many times this summer, in fact he’s been in every heat I’ve raced, in regattas where we both competed. Cal i haven’t raced since my junior worlds where he finished 3rd. I’m next to Cal and looking forward to going head to head in the heat. I’m going out there like it’s a final and I’m going to try and force those guys to race a semi. That way they’ll have far more races then i will all week.
I’m a little nervous for the first race, but it’s always that way. The usual thoughts creep in, am i fast enough, will i die…etc. These happen before any heat, especially when i haven’t raced in while. They rarely get to be anything more than a nagging worry. I usually just stick to the old “I’ve put the work in and whatever happens, happens”. I was asked a lot during the press conference this morning if i feel nervous, or pressure. My reply to that one is always a variation of: “i can only go as fast as i can go. If i do that and win, great, if i do that and come 9th great. As long as i go as fast as i can I’ll be happy”. I think for people at home who are upset with the Canadian teams performance they need to realize that many of the fourths and other off podium finishes have still been Canadian records and/or PB’s. Can’t fault the best Canadian doing their best performance.
For those of you who have written thanks for all the kind words. It’s really great. Don’t worry about my mentioning nerves above though. I’m in a great space and ready to race.