Jill’s House: On losing the Olympic trials and second chances

Jill Officer and her daughter Camryn share tears and a hug after the curling trials. Anil Mungal / submitted

Canadian Olympic gold medalist and Winnipeg mom Jill Officer gives us a twice-monthly look behind the scenes of her dual life in her blog, Jill’s House.

When we lost our semi-final match of the Olympic Trials and our chance to go back to the Winter Games to defend our Gold Medal, I went to the boards for my routine post-game hug from my kid.

She gave me a big squeeze then pulled back to look at me.

As the tears came, I said “No, honey, I can’t.”

Jill and Camryn. Anil Mungal / submitted
share a hug. Anil Mungal / submitted
and some tears. Anil Mungal / submitted

She quickly wrapped her strong, little arms around me and squeezed me even harder.

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I cried even harder.

Camryn was so excited to come cheer me and my team on in our attempt to defend our Trials and Olympic title.  She made signs at school and kept saying she couldn’t wait for me to go to the Olympics again.

Camryn made a sign to cheer the team at the Olympic Trials.

I kept telling her we might not win, of course, because sometimes she seemed to think it would just happen and I didn’t want it to come as a complete shock if that was the case.

So while she quietly said on a couple of occasions after we lost that she was sad I don’t get to go to the Olympics, once at home, she seamlessly slipped back into our routine.

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Just 24 hours after we’d lost, while my head and heart swirled with thoughts and feelings from the event, I received a text message from fellow Winnipegger, World Champion and my friend, Reid Carruthers.

Reid Carruthers and Jill Officer practicing at the Granite Curling Club. Chris Stanton / Global News

After Rachel Homan’s team won the women’s Olympic Trials, Reid was in need of a partner for the Mixed Doubles Olympic Trials (Mixed Doubles is making its first appearance at these Olympics).

His original partner, Joanne Courtney from Homan’s team, who will now be representing Canada as part of the women’s team, is ineligible to also do the mixed.

Yup, there still a chance.

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READ MORE: Second chance at Olympic berth for new teammates Reid Carruthers & Jill Officer

So while Camryn settled into the home routine, I was left grieving one loss while taking a number of days to wrap my head around the fact I technically still have a shot to go to these Olympics.

And through all this, I believe I am teaching Camryn some valuable lessons about chasing your dreams, but also believing in and being grateful for second chances.

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