30,2006 - Melbourne Experience
had an amazing experience in Melbourne! Walking into the Melbourne
Cricket Grounds (I very historic and famous stadium) with
80,000+ screaming fans was absolutely breath-taking. Although
most were Aussie fans, when I took a full-circle view of the
stadium I saw quite a few Canadian flags interspersed among
the crowd. That was a truly proud moment for me, knowing that
I had worked so hard to be there and finally I was able to
have the opportunity to absorb and enjoy it.
really neat things happened following my entrance into the
track and during my races. First, when I stepped on the line
for the prelims of the 1500m (I don't think I've ever been
that nervous) I heard a voice nearby yell "Let's go Canada,"
when I looked over the voice was coming from the inside of
the track (obviously no fans are allowed in this area). It
was coming from Mark Boswell (Gold Medalist in these Games
in the men's high jump). He was also competing and was between
jumps and took the time to yell for us right before the race.
That definitely got me pumped up!
the race (the prelims) I found myself in the front leading
with one of the other Canadians, Malindi Elmore. This was
a really cool feeling! I heard the announcer talk about two
Canadians leading the field and I thought to myself, "Wow,
I've led races before, but never this big!" I really
felt proud to be Canadian at that moment leading the race
with another teammate, it gave me a lot of confidence and
I knew then that I would make the final. It's very uplifting
to be at the front of a race with the entire stadium cheering
and watching you. I'll definitely have to give this a try
at the Olympics!!!
finished this race in third, I was clear of the final (top-4
in each prelim qualify). When I crossed the line I heard a
familiar voice yell my name from the stands. When I turned
around, there was Trent and his friends waving, about 10 metres
from the finish line in the front row! I was amazed to actually
see him while I was on the track, as it's tough to get that
good of seats. The best part was that he convinced his whole
section around him (who were mostly Australian) to cheer for
the night of the final was unbelievable. I was pretty nervous,
but confident going in to the race. I figured I had nothing
to lose and was going to give it my all and try to be up with
the top group as much as I could to give myself the opportunity
for a medal. When I stepped on the line, I took a look around
and absorbed the feeling. I was pretty pumped to be there.
As the race got underway (I didn't notice while racing, but
Trent said this later), it was like the crowd followed us.
As we ran around the track the screaming of the crowd moved
with us. Coming down the homestretch was absolutely overwhelming.
It was so loud that you couldn't even here yourself running
or breathing! It was like you were running into the noise
as you got closer to the finish. Crazy!
I think I ran a strong and aggressive race. I got bumped and
boxed a bit, which threw me off a little, but that's typical
of championship racing. And, being able to deal with and race
under these conditions comes with experience and a bit of
luck! Although I didn't finish as high as I'd like, I am happy
I was competitive in the final and still up for a grab at
a medal until about the last 300m. But this just gives me
more drive to be there and have a go at a medal in future
championships/games, whether it be Commonwealth, World Champs
or Olympics. For anyone that's interested, here is a list
of the major championship that I'll be looking to, leading
up to 2008:
- Pan America Games - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
August 2007 - World Track and Field Championships - Osaka,
March 2008 - World Indoor Track and Field Championships -
August 2008 - Olympic Games - Beijing, China
out my Melbourne photo gallery here>>