I don’t know where to start. The last twelve hours have been the busiest and craziest of my life. I guess I’ll attempt to capture what happened yesterday and this morning chronologically, that way I can maybe make some sense of the chaos. But, firstly thanks again. My inbox was inundated this morning. Just incredible, I’m speechless and flattered.
The race yesterday was obviously great. It went exactly as Mike and I thought it would. The Uzbek raced as predicted and so did everyone else. I was really proud of my start. When I finally saw the video and realized that I got off the line really well and was cruising strong through the 500m mark I was thrilled. Obviously I had a great finish. It’s almost impossible to put into words how loud the crowd was, a deafening roar. Going into the last 200m I knew that I was in fourth, and I was pretty sure I was going to get Menkov. He started to fade and I jumped on that opportunity and went for it. I’ve never felt an adrenaline rush like that before. The pain was intense but at the same time distant. It was really incredible. I was in agony on the dock, I’m not one for dramatic displays of pain, or very much at all for that matter, but man did that hurt. I was really worried I was going to collapse in my boat and not get to the dock. Once there I was done for.
I was done for; for about two minutes, after which absolute chaos has reigned until about an hour ago. I was rushed to do the interviews immediately after the race; from there I was herded into a tent to change into our podium gear. At this point the seemingly incredibly simple task of going 200m to the podium, was somehow made to be more complex then Operation Market Garden. I have never been told / asked so many things by so many people in so little time. “Go here, no time for interviews”. “wait you have time” “sit here and rest” “come here and answer questions” “hold up your medal for a picture” “do you need anything…do this.”…etc. To take us the 200m they decided to use a golf cart limo with about 5 benches, driven by an unfortunate young lady who, I am sure, did not yet have a drivers license. Of course, the age old law of “Hurry up and wait” applied. We then got to take a seat in the sun for about ten minutes until the ceremony began.
The ceremony itself needs little explanation. What you see is what you get. The feeling was pure elation. I was ecstatic and obviously grinning like an idiot. It’s a real honour to not only be on the podium at the Olympics, but to be on it with such outstanding athletes. Even considering the fact that I am their near equals is mind-blowing. It’s also impossible not to think of the great history Canada has in this event. It’s hard to fathom that I am now a part of that history. It’s an honour that I will cherish forever.
After that brief respite chaos reigned supreme once again. It was into to a press conference with Cal and Vajda, then outside for some more radio and print media. I almost missed my call to doping control, I was there with about five minutes to spare (once you sign the form you have an hour to present yourself). They took blood as well as the usual which was a change. From there it was off to finally see my parents and brother. We then had roughly twenty minutes to get back to the hotel, shower, change and eat before hopping in a shuttle to get to the Ling Lang Pagoda to do interviews for SRC and CBC. I mentioned chaos, that place is incredible. I have a new found and deep respect for how hard those guys work. Next we were whisked to the IBC (international broadcast center) for some radio interviews. There I was fortunate enough to have a couple of cold ones and some pizza! Thank god for that. Finally we returned “home” at about midnight. This morning I had to wake up at 5:50am to get on a shuttle to head back into the Ling Lang Pagoda to do some prime time TV stuff for SRC and CBC once again. I just returned from that and am about to crash before heading back to the course to cheer on all the guys this afternoon.
So there you have it. A, hopefully, not too detailed account of what went down from about 3:49pm yesterday until about 10:30am this morning. It was incredible and I wouldn’t have changed it for anything.
Up next for me is the National Championships in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, site of the 2009 World Canoe Kayak World Championships. Not sure if I’m going to race next week. We’ll see if my tired bones let me. Nonetheless, I can’t wait to get there, it’s going to be great.
I don’t think I’ll ever be able to do Mike Creamer justice in this blog. I will never be able to fully capture how fortunate I am to have such an outstanding coach and friend. He is truly one of a kind and I count my self lucky to be so blessed by having his keen eye and intellect watching out for me and not my competitors. This triumph is as much his as it is mine and I know that he was probably far more nervous than I. Of course, he never lets it show and is always calm and cool. I am proud to call him my friend and coach.