Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Greatest Gathering of my Life!

Earlier this winter, in Mid-February, I had one of the greatest opportunities I could ever think of. I had the privilege of representing the United States of America at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, Canada. This had been a goal of mine since I was a little girl. I remember watching every Olympic Games, both summer and winter, and admiring the dedication and perseverance all of the athletes showed in order to make it there. I loved watching people at the height of their careers fulfilling their dreams and allowing others like myself to believe anything is possible and dream big about our own futures.

The feeling of walking into a stadium filled with thousands and thousands of people and knowing that you represent a vision and a goal and that you too can inspire those who are sitting in the stands or at home or across the world that anything is possible is a great and incomparable feeling.

I loved being at an event where so many people from so many countries and with so many backgrounds could come together and peacefully engage in one of the most beautiful display of human performances and breakthroughs was truly amazing. I met so many and was inspired by even more. I know I share these feelings with so many of the other athletes who competed at those games and I am happy to be a part of the Olympic History.

Although competing in the Olympic Games was the most obvious goal of mine last season, there were many other achievements and moments were realized as well. I had an amazingly rough year filled with big mistakes, bad decisions, and poor judgment. I cannot blame anyone but myself for these choices and I know I will be revisiting the consequences of these for a long time and constantly trying to make things better in the future.

The Olympic Games were more then just a sporting event for me. They were an opportunity for one of the best gatherings that I can ever remember. Thanks to the generous support of my uncle Kelly and all of the people in the ski world and twin cities community, my parents, brother and I were able to be together for the first time in 21 years. I had not seen my father or brother for 3 years. My mom's ovarian cancer came back last fall and we were not sure how long she would have. All of my resources have gone towards skiing and my family could never afford to get together before this. Having us all together brought the best tears of joy I could ever think of. I am so grateful that the Olympics were in North America. I am so grateful that my uncle could help us with a condo in Squamish. I am so grateful my grandmother could buy train tickets for my mom from Minnesota. I am so thankful that my dad's girlfriend could buy him a plane ticket from California, and I am so grateful that my brother spent the last of his hard earned money so that my dreams could come true.

My parents have not seen me ski very much so for them it was a wonderful opportunity to see what I have been spending so much time doing and understand how much passion and love I have for the sport of Cross Country Skiing.

Thanks to everyone along my journey who have made this gathering possible and so special. I will never forget.

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