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.
“Mommy, does this mean you can’t go to the Olympics?”
As the tears came, I said “No, honey, I can’t.”
She quickly wrapped her strong, little arms around me and squeezed me even harder.
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.
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.
I, on the other hand, did not.
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.
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.
So you’re tellin’ me there’s a chance?!
Yup, there still a chance.
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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