Christine Nesbitt’s speed skating gold medal really affected me.
There was something about her quiet demeanour that I relate to. While all of Canada is cheering and going crazy like they just won gold, in some ways you feel separate from it, even though you are the centre of it.
Winning is a deeply personal experience. Who except Christine can really understand all of the physical pain she has endured, the nights awake with the stress of competition, the hundreds of times she was wracked with self-doubt? Maybe I am talking about myself right now and maybe this is how I relate.
So many people at the oval asked me yesterday if Christine’s winning skate brought back memories. The crowds and the screaming didn't bring back memories and in some ways I thought that odd. But I think I am beginning to understand why.
That was not my Olympic experience. The cheering and the hugging and flag waving is my experience today with my kids. But winning as an athlete resonated deeply in my soul, along with the satisfaction, the relief and the pride. Those words seem like skeletons of the real emotions behind them.
When I watched Christine receive her medal, somewhat dumbfounded by the crazy cheering last night in BC Stadium, I could see she was having her own personal experience with winning. I was happy that she could find a place to be in the real emotion of what she was feeling while allowing others to enjoy her win in their own way.
This commitment to a personal and internal experience is how a racer excels amidst the pressure of competition, so it’s no surprise that it’s also the way many athletes will choose to experience winning. - Silken