Well, that is the end. My biathlon races for the 2010 Olympics are done. My lifelong dream of becoming an Olympian has come true!
On February 13th I raced the 7.5km sprint race. I was starter 34 which is a great, early number for me. I was excited to be racing again after having some time off with just heavy training, so arriving up at the venue was what I had been waiting for. I had a good zero and was feeling good at the start line. I felt good on the skis and coming into prone I was focused on the task- didn't work. I missed 2/5 and had to ski two 150m penalty loops. Around the 2.5km again and then in for standing where I missed 1/5. I missed three total in this race and finished in 82nd. When I crossed the finish line my mother and father were there with their arms wide open as they are volunteers. Not many people get to experience having their parents at the Olympics, let alone helping out at them, so it was really great.
Three days later I hoped on the bus at 7:45am and took the 30minute ride up to the venue for the 15km Individual race. I was feeling relaxed and tested my skis, choosing the fastest pair out of 7. I had a great zero, and the day could not be any more beautiful; blue skies, no wind, and a good temperature. The track was hard, but getting softer and softer as the sun rose and more people raced on it. I was starter 48 out of 89 starters. I missed 1 in my first prone, an 2 in the first standing. I then came in for my second prone and hit all 5! Yes, great success. But, different story for my second standing: I missed 3...WHAT? WHY? Well, I was talking to my coach afterwards and he was very pleased with my race. I am exactly where I should be in my sport at my age and just need to build a bigger base so I can handle the longer races and keep my shooting up. So I missed 6/20 and was once again 82nd.
Although I did not have the races of my life at the Olympics, I am still here and I did it! I am an Olympian and I raced the races and did my thang! It was such a good feeling wearing the Olympic New Zealand suit and being out there knowing I am representing such a great country for the first time. The New Zealand support has been absolutely amazing; the team was there today cheering me on, Ginny (physio) was amazing and with me in the start and finish area, Petr did his coaching thang and nailed it, my parents dominated the supportive parent role, and all the support from the friends and family afar has been breathtaking.
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!
It was amazing, and now it is time to experience the other part of the Games; other sports, the atmosphere, and to really enjoy everything. You are all awesome!