Until the Last Race
I was a touch disappointed about not racing the Relay but my health simply wasn’t there. The other guys had a shot. I took the day easy and cheered on my teammates in their Relays from my room. Relays are probably the most entertaining of all the races at the Paralympics. The atmosphere of the Relay is always unique; the athletes look forward to the Relays. At Paralympics there is the added excitement of the eventual winner. Both Relays yesterday proved that the race isn’t over until the teams cross the line. For example the Russia’s started the final leg in the Mixed Relay in fifth or sixth. Over the next 2.5km, Russia’s strongest Blind man chased down everyone and come into the finishing stretch as the victors. Depending on how the teams are set up with different disabilities, a team way behind can quickly close the gap. And vice versa, at team that started stronger skiers can fall behind in a single leg. Not that long ago I was counting the days to the beginning of the Games. Now there is only one day left and the last race.
How strange it feels that the same result can feel so different. Today’s race and the final race of the 2014 Sochi Paralympic Winter Games was the Cross Country Middle Distance. I would finish 11th. The same result as I had two days ago in the Long Biathlon. The Biathlon stung, it was not how I pictured racing the last Biathlon race at the Games. Today I felt much better; it even felt the legs had a bit of pep. I had no clue where the shape was; how fast I could go or for how long. All I could do was start hard I see how long I could last at that pace. That was what I did maybe too much so. After the first lap I was one of the leaders. In the following three laps I ran out of steam couldn’t hold the pace I had set in the earlier laps. Crossing the finish line I was extremely happy with that race. Though it is the same result as the Long Biathlon I’m extremely proud and satisfied with that race.
A huge congrats to Brian McKeever for his third Gold, another hard fought! To both guides that went beyond the limit to get Brian around the course, Erik Carleton and Graham Nishikawa. A the biggest congrats to roommate Chris Klebl for an astonishing race today to get the Gold! Our room at least has a medal of each color!
With that I wrap up these Games on a great note. I’m hungry for more. I’m trying to write this as a hundred different things are going on around me. Everyone is trying to organize and pack up before heading down to the Closing Ceremonies and onto the Airport to begin our journey back to Canada.

One Comment so far:

  1. thejypsy says:

    Mark, congrats to you & all your teammates and (the Para-Nordic & the Canadian ones!) Very, very well done 🙂 Thanks again for taking us along for the ride, looking forward to all the rides to come…. For now, Celebrate!

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