A Tough Go
Today’s race wasn’t how I had ever imagined it. Yesterday it looked slim whether I would even start the race. Since arriving in Sochi, I have been on the edge fighting this bug and that. It is the finest balance between peak shape and going over, getting sick. As an athlete I have to push to the very limit nearly every day to be the best I can be, that comes with a cost. It doesn’t take much to get knocked off top shape. I have been fortunate up till now that the body was able to fight of sickness and still give me the performances I dreamt of. The first two races took a lot of effort and it caught up to me. After the Middle Distance race I got sick. I did my best, I mean anything and everything I could to prevent it but you can only fight for so long. Over the past two days I tried to get better, focusing on health then on the next race, the Biathlon Long Distance. It was still a decision made this morning whether I would race or not. After a whole day to rest, I felt much better this morning. I wanted to race, knowing full well that this one race could be the last race here in Sochi if the body couldn’t hold up afterwards.
I gave it my best go, but in the end it wasn’t the race I had hoped for. To be honest, I didn’t really know what to expect either. I could not have started or not have been able to ski at all. It could have gone either way. I could do only what I had in the body, it’s not possible to go beyond that. Beforehand, the skiing would be the logical thing to suffer from being sick. In fact the skiing was fairly good. It was the shooting that really affected the outcome. Discarding the penalties I was skiing right with the best in the World today. Two minutes in penalties from two missed shots is what really sent me falling through the results. I was disappointed, at first with the race. Then stepping back a bit to see that not 24hrs earlier, it looked unlikely to even start. I could be proud of the effort and the ski I put into that race. In a race where shooting clean is a must, I didn’t. My second realization was that back in my room there are two Paralympic medals. Those two medals alone stand as an incredible feat. My category is extremely competitive, proven by the fact that no one medalled in all three events. The most anyone will go home with are two medals in Biathlon. And I’m one of them! I will not race tomorrow’s Relay; try to get healthy enough to contest the Cross Country 10km on Sunday.
A Tough Go