Well...things didn't go as I had hoped. After writing my last update, I ended up waking up with strep throat and couldn't race. On top of that, I caught a virus as well, so double sickness for me. To be completely honest, I cried almost every day more than once the whole week I was sick. It hurt so bad to be THAT close to racing at my very first Olympics, and then having it ripped away from me. That was the lowest low I've ever felt in my sport, but I have to remember...you can't have the highs without the lows. I've finally accepted what happened, and now I'm working towards figuring out my health issues, training better this summer, and racing faster next season!
Since I was sick for the end of the Olympics, I didn't get to leave my room much. My days consisted of sleeping, taking my medications, having food delivered to me, and watching the Olympics on TV. Then...I got a surprise, my boyfriend flew to see me in Korea! That brightened my week up a bit, and I was so thankful to finally have someone to hang out with (who didn't care about catching my sickness).
Dustin and I outside of the Team USA house
He dragged me out of my room and we did tons of touristy stuff. We checked out the city of Gangneung, went to the beach, went out to a Korean restaurant, watched some races, and took plenty of photos! Check out the slideshow below!
One of the highlights was meeting the Gold Medalist Curling Team! They happened to show up to Team USA house the night we were there, and they talked about how they reached this point in their lives. Then we asked them to get a photo and hold their medals...it was so amazing. They were the nicest guys, and it was fun to sit down with them and talk more one-on-one about our sports. It was inspiring, and I loved it.
Hanging out with a few gold medalists!
The finale of the Olympics is Closing Ceremonies. This is basically all the athletes marching out as one, and having a celebration! The organizers did an incredible job with the different performances, it was really awesome to watch and be a part of.
Some of US Biathlon with our flag bearer, Jessie Diggins (gold medalist)
They let all the athletes back onto the stage at the end of a celebration party!
Walking out with Joanne
Overall, this was such an incredibly amazing experience. I can't put it into words. I am so grateful I had this opportunity. It's something I never imagined I'd get to be a part of, and it was such an honor to represent Team USA. Of course, it didn't go as I had hoped or expected, but that's life. You can't control everything, and you just have to accept the setbacks that come your way. For me, this has made me realize I need to go to a specialist and figure out why I keep getting recurring sicknesses. I will also need to make a few changes to my training plan and living situation in order to continue being happy and excited to train and race. I want to see myself at the next Olympics in 2022 fighting for a spot on that podium. It will be a tough four years to reach that point, but I'm excited for the challenge!
Before I finish this blog up, I just want to give MANY thanks to all of my sponsors, supporters, and fans! Now that the black out is over (we weren't allowed to tag any sponsors throughout the Olympics) I want to thank a few people who helped me achieve this life long goal. Without their help, it would have been a lot harder to reach the Olympics, so I'm very grateful to have them be a part of this journey. My equipment sponsors: Rossignol, One Way Sport USA, HWK USA, Finn Sisu, and US Biathlon. My hometown sponsors: Blizzard Manufacturing, Adirondack Accents, Enchanted Forest Water Safari, DiOrio's Supermarket, Ozzie's Coffee Bar, Adirondack Homes & Real Estate, Bare Arms Gun Shop, Old Forge Fitness, and Polar Bear Ski Club. And finally, all of my amazing Phans (YOU!), friends, and family for the kind words of encouragement, donations, and love! I can’t thank you enough!!
Currently listening to: Joanne by Lady Gaga