It’s been almost 3 weeks now since the Beijing 2022 Closing Ceremonies and I have had some time to reflect on my Olympic experience. Now that the Games are over, and I have returned to the real world. Back to World Cup weekends and traveling around Europe. It is a strange feeling to have just finished competing at the biggest sporting event in the World and then to go back to life as normal as if it never happened. Returning to World Cup racing directly afterwards doesn’t give you the chance to absorb the experience the same way you would if you were returning home and celebrate it with family and friends. For now, I have taken some time to write down some of my main take always from Beijing. And I am looking forward to sharing the post-Olympic excitement with the Canadian ski community at Nationals at the end of March and with all of the Yukon when I make it home in May!
I am proud to now call myself a two-time Olympian in the sport of Cross-Country Skiing. That is something I had always hope to accomplish. Representing my Country and Territory at consecutive Olympic Games. No medals to bring back home but many wonderful memories to remember and some personal best performances to be proud of. My 25 days in Zhangjiakou, China were ones I will remember for a lifetime. I can genuinely say this time around, my Olympic experience was fun! I was happy with my races for the most part, I liked the race courses and we had an awesome team to enjoy the experience with. I also had a better idea of what to expect from the athlete village, so I was able to go into China prepared and able to make the most of the entire Olympic experience.
I didn’t achieve all my goals for these Olympics, but I did hit a few of them. Here are a few of my highlights from Beijing.
- 18th in the 10km Classic – This is one of the races I am most proud of in my career. It is my best individual start result internationally. More importantly I executed this race exactly how I had planned. I was an early bib so when I crossed the finish line, I wasn’t sure where I would finish placing wise, but it was a race I was super proud of the performance I gave as soon as I crossed the finish line.
- 9th in the 4x5km Relay – Team events always bring a different level of excitement. Racing to the best Women’s relay result in 20 years with these amazing women was for sure a highlight of the Games. We also kept our relay hair tradition alive. I might be biased but I think we won that category.
- Skiing Sprint heats at a major Championship – I have competed at 4 major championships before these Games. The 2018 Olympics and 3 World Championships (2017, 2019, 2021). Beijing is the first time I have qualified for the sprint heats. This was probably my biggest performance objective going into Beijing and I was so happy to make it into the heats. Head-to-head heat skiing is one of the most fun parts of being a ski racer. Although I was hoping for a better result than 25th, at the end of the day I am proud of how I fought and how I skied in my quarterfinal in a close race all the way to the line.
- Bullet train to from Zhangjiakou to Beijing for Closing Ceremonies at the Birds Nest – We didn’t attend the Opening Ceremonies because we were racing the Skiathlon the next day. With 6 events, all the Cross-Country athletes were at the entire Olympics so we were able to partake in the Closing Ceremonies. The bullet train hit 350km/hr and the birds nest didn’t disappoint
- Crafting Lanterns – When we arrived our rooms came with build your own lantern kits. It was a fun way to decorate our rooms and celebrate lunar new year and the lantern festival which both happened while we were in China.
- Matching lululemon #ootd – Having lululemon as our clothing sponsor was awesome, and we made a full-on effort to match as much as possible.
- Steamed pork buns with cheese – I don’t know how the Chinese people felt about me eating their delicious, steamed pork buns with a slice of cheddar cheese, but it was my favourite food combo of the Games.
One more World Cup weekend left this year and then back to Canada for Canadian Ski Nationals. I will be back with an update on those in a few weeks. Thank you everyone for all the support and cheering during the Olympics! I could feel you all with me! So grateful to have such an amazing community behind me. Thanks for reading!