Posted by: ~KC~ | August 10, 2008

Dreams of Olympic Gold

I’ve decided to post this. It’s an email that was forwarded to me the other day and I thought: maybe you can all help too! I met Anna-Marie de Zwager (Women’s Rowing Team Canada) through the dinner club I belong too, without realizing that she was Beijing bound. I was just so moved by her email….I had to share and I’m sure she wouldn’t mind.

Go Team Canada!!!!!!!  (Anna-Marie is the one in the white/gray tank)
~ • ~ ~ • ~ ~ • ~ ~ • ~ ~ • ~ ~ • ~ ~ • ~ ~ • ~ ~ • ~ ~ • ~ ~ • ~

I’ve decided to make a wish. It has crossed my mind that it might be too late to start doing this, but I’ve been so inspired by Zoe’s story and subsequently by Lynne Beecroft’s (my UVic field hockey coach) similar story in her career as an Olympian that I have decided it can only help. Perhaps I can enlist your help as well in the coming 10 days.

My wish is to win an Olympic gold medal. I have long resisted admitting this wish because it is so specific and is all-or-nothing – ie. I get it or I don’t. End of story. I must clarify that I still make and work on many goals in this last week and a half that have to do with things I can actually control and affect and can be certain to achieve if I do my best. The longest lasting and primary goal that I have is to move my boat with my crew as effectively, smoothly and fast as possible, be focused for the entire duration of our races here at the Olympics and to cross the line knowing we have done all we can and have had our best races of our rowing careers. Having said this I don’t think there is anything wrong with wanting to win and wanting to win GOLD. An Olympic Gold medal does not have the power to change me, make me happy or validate my worth as a woman, a rower, an Olympian or any other box I decide to put myself in, but it’s ok to want it.

I do not have enough eyelashes to make this wish come true in 10 days and I do not wear a necklace or other jewelry to perform rituals around, but I do wear a watch and when I don’t, I do look at a clock when I want to know the time. Each time I look at my watch, a clock, check the time or hear my alarm in the morning, I will wish to win an Olympic Gold Medal. Maybe with your woman-and-man-power behind me we can find out how much impact a simple wish can have. Would you be willing to help me out the next ten days until our Olympic Final on August 17, 2008, to make the same wish when you look at your watch or clock or hear an alarm? I figure it’s worth a shot?!

We spoke as a crew yesterday about our jobs & roles in the boat. It stemmed from a row when two of us (myself included surprise, surprise!) found ourselves very frustrated and trying TOO hard. By trying TOO HARD we slowed the boat down instead of helping it gain speed. We both had epiphanies toward the end of the workout and effectively helped the boat gain speed. An idea came up that involves the five people making this boat as fast as possible. The four rowers and Carsten, our coach, are each responsible for 20% of how the boat moves. 20% x 5 people =100%

So if each of us takes full responsibility for our own 20%, (without trying to do MORE than our 20% or doing MORE than would be helpful) then we will be able to get the most out of this long slender piece of carbon fibre and out of ourselves. We are really finding speed now. The taper has started, we are decreasing mileage and intensity and getting lots of rest. We are doing short race-pace pieces on the course along side our Women’s Eight and are moving really well. I felt a burst of adrenaline, excitement and pure bliss during one of the pieces today that really confirmed that we are in the right place, it is the right time and we are on the right track. I can honestly say now, I am excited.

I wanted to share those two little ideas with you today. Other than those specifics, China is still treating us very well. It is still very hot and humid and although we couldn’t see further than 1250m for the smog this morning, I am not finding it to affect me at all.
Thanks again for the well-wishes.



  1. I used to row in college and that was the hardest sport…ever! our coach always said that rowing was mostly a brain sport because youthink the brawn will get you there but it was about getting into a mental and physical rythm and learning to keep it. anyways good luck to your friend!

  2. How cool you know an olympian. Since we have the satellite turned off for the summer, I am woefully out of the loop. I need to take the boys over to my moms to watch some.

  3. How frickin cool is that?!
    I sometimes forget that my total lack of interest in the Olympics this year (don’t be a hater) doesn’t mean that others aren’t living and breathing this every moment of every day. Best of luck to all of them!

  4. I like her thoughts… And although I root for another team (during the very little time I spend checking out the Olympics – like hummynbyrd said, don’t be a hater!), I very much like the philosophy behind their 20%. What a good idea on how to live, in some respects, in the family unit.

  5. As much as I really like the Canadians, if they come up against Great Britain in any event I’m afraid there’s only 1 team I’ll be rooting for.

    A silver medal for Canada ain’t so bad though. 😉

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: