The Olympic dream

May 31st, 2012 by

It’s been an interesting past three months in the world of triathlon.

The Olympic qualifying phase is now over, the ranking finalized and the teams are being picked.

It’s easy to forget about the dreams that are coming true,

or the ones that have been crushed over those past months.

Going to the Olympic Games is the pinnacle in many athletes career.

It’s not a 2hr race, but a four year phase of traveling the world, chasing points and proving fitness.

It’s easy to forget about them four years watching the games from a tv couch.

Thats there is a story behind each and every athlete qualifying.

The past couple of World Triathlon Series races have seen lots of winners. Not only the obvious Brownlees or Jenkins, but fights to the line for top 8 or top 15 finishes. Or even further back where maybe a 30th place means enough points to make the cut off. Athletes rising to the occasion exceeding any previous achievements, or on the contrary, dreams heartbreakingly coming to an abrupt end.

Some are still today biting their nails as the selection process now is in the hands of a committee.

We have see athletes having fight it out head to head. The women’s race in san Diego was exciting to watch, but also had a bitter sweet taste. Bennet and Haskins both making the front pack, knowing they had to get a top 9 – and beat the other to get the selection. One went home with an olympic berth, the other has to find a new focus and a plan B.

Over the past years we have also seen the athletes who’s biggest challenge  have been finding funding. To travel to obscure places where they are likely to pick up enough points, been on wait lists ready to go or forced to push and race through injuries. The challenge has been the ranking, the points, the other nations –  not to beat five other athletes from the same country to a selection.

Then there is the established nations with all the funding in the world – with a handful or more athletes competing for the three slots  The drama is not so much about  points or making the cut off, but to perform in the races nominated by the selectors and hopefully beat the others to it.

Stress, drama, hopes, talent, skill, timing and luck. Sport.

I was lucky enough to get my selection early, already in November I had the all clear not needing to prove myself more.

But I have been following the process of the girls in my squad first row.

The total dedication to get things right, the stress that follows- and the joy and relief when the performance comes at the right time.

The first part of the Olympic Dream is already won – if you are on the start line when the  gun goes.

Don’t forget that.

Look at the 55 athletes on the pontoon and give them some credit for the past four years of work.

Some might be gunning for a medal, others already succeeded reaching the highest goal in their life.

It’s an amazing thing to be a part of.

For some nice stories read more about Manuel Huerta, Gavin Noble and Brent McMahon successful chase for the dream.