Olympic Trials, Day 1

To make a painful story short, things did not turn out the way I wanted. I had something of an off day on the day it mattered, both technically and physically. I have skated extremely well this past month, and all signs pointed in the right direction, but today was just not my day.

In the first 500m, I was going very well until a slip in the final corner. I lost a lot of speed, and ended up with 37.08 (another!) and finished 15th of 34 skaters. In the second one, again I was on pace for a sub-37 race, until the final corner, stumbled a bit, and skated 37.10, 15th of 44.

Maybe it was nerves, all my emotional sensors were certainly experiencing complete overload. The last several days have been just getting through the hours until it was time to race.

It hurts to feel like I failed at something I have thrown everything into being really good at. But this is what happens when you leap headfirst into a competitive arena, with a whole busload of extremely talented people who all want the same thing really badly. Someone wins, but most lose. What really hurts though, is not that I lost vs other people, but that I did not skate well vs myself.

However, there is so much that is still good, my friends, my family, this path I have taken has been very rewarding in many respects. The season is not over, tomorrow I skate a 1000m race, and there is still a lot left in the season after that.

Also my family was certainly the loudest, and best dressed cheering section in the stands (yes, they made t-shirts! the text on them says “love on ice is counter-clockwise”). They are all wonderful, and they matter far more than merely skating fast in a circle.

But it would be a lie to say that I am not upset. It hurts to write this. 15th of 44 in a race at Olympic trials.. hmmm, I should be happier about that than I am.

I have more to write, about Boris’s huge PB, and who made the Olympic team, but I am really tired.. more tomorrow…

8 Responses to “Olympic Trials, Day 1”

  1. Sigh, that’s the way the cookie crumbles. Sometimes it’s a big elephant coming from nowhere, which is easier to explain. Sometimes it’s one own butt sitting down on the cookie, and not so easy to handle.

    You must remember you did the best you could under the conditions then and there. Doesn’t matter that you did better yesterday, or will do better tomorrow, or that you expected better. Then and there at each instance of time was the best you *did* do.

    Look at the silver lining. Something showed up that didn’t show up in normal training, or that you have been able to deal with earlier.

    Now you know more about what you have to train smarter for next time.

    Relax for your 1000m, you can do better.

  2. Hey Andrew-

    You know what? You worked hard to be on that ice. That “busload” of talented skaters? Guess what? You rode the bus over WITH them! YOU ARE the “talented” skater!
    First day jitters are over…the day is done and nothing can be changed about it. Your family and life love are so thrilled for you that they are probably busting out of their skin…and bragging to anyone who will listen….
    Take their energy …..
    and F-L-Y.
    Find your Happy place Andrew,
    and do it.
    You are the machine.
    I’ll be checking back. :)

  3. What she said…! 15th in the American Olympic trials is awesome! So recently, you described yourself as a bulldog on skates, as having just discovered something that you loved and hoped to be great at some day. Well, you’re great; you’re so far up in that rarefied atmosphere of achievement that your perspective is different, but know that for all of us down here, you ARE on Mount Olympus, you are our skating god. I’m incredibly proud of you, and not least for knowing that you’ll go out again today, putting yesterday behind you and your whole heart into the present moment.
    in any case, Peg’s right - however you skate, in so many ways you are already a winner, you are a champion.

  4. Congratulations Andrew! I believe in consistency rather than flash-in-the-pan results and so I look at the Samalog results which tell me you are the 12th ranked 500m skater in the entire United States of America for 2006. From obscurity to elite-level in a very few years and done in one of the deepest national speed-skating gene pools in the world - right up there with former and current Olympic and World Cup Champions. Hold your head high - you deserve it.

    Good luck in the 1000m!

  5. WOW!

    I wanna see more!

  6. you’re allright, kid..
    so much more than one of that -minibus-load of elite skaters; we all get joy out of reading/seeing what you’ve shared with us, on ice and in your blog-and that’s because of your personality, character! there’s not another speedskater who comes close to you in all the above!
    godspeed in the 1000m!

  7. Still my hero Andrew. Way to go.

  8. Andrew–

    Sorry we missed the event, sounds like you had a great turn out! I am so impressed by your personal dedication and effort to your “craft” and the benefits of that will last a lifetime! Good luck in Europe and then come to Ithaca to meet Aliza who was born on the same day as your Olympic trials–how is that for a weird cross-continent coincidence…

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