Throwback Thursday: Kathy Tremblay reflects on her trip to the Beijing Olympics
First of all, I need to express how extremely proud I was to be one of triathletes to represent Canada at the Olympic games in Beijing. The Olympics weren’t just my dream; they were my family’s dream. My sister, Melanie, had hoped to compete in the Olympics as a swimmer, but a shoulder injury made that impossible. If my mother (Francine) and father (Remi) hadn’t been so supportive, I wouldn’t have ever been able to achieve what I did. It was very important to have them with me because they have been part of the team since the beginning. They encouraged and supported me in every situation life can throw at you and we shared the same dream.
My trip went really well – I even got upgrade tickets from the airline! When I arrived in Beijing, I knew that all the hard training would pay off and all I had to do was to remain focused, relaxed and healthy. I was also thrilled to know that my parents were already there and enjoying their stay in Shanghai before going to Beijing to watch the race. When we arrived at the Canadian athletes’ villa in Beijing, everybody was in a good mood. One of the many things that I enjoyed at the villa is that we could watch all the Canadian teams compete on the CBC network. The Canadian rowing team was especially inspiring after they won the gold medal.
It was also a pleasant surprise to find that the temperature and pollution were not as bad as the media had led us to believe. We knew it was going to be hot but it was refreshing to see lots of blue skies. All in all, I really felt ready and I looked forward to run the race of my life. On race day I was calm and I focused on being in the right frame of mind for this competition.
On the starting line, I was fourth from the right, which happened to be a very good spot for the first splash. I had a really good start and I put my head down and swam to the first buoy. I emerged from the water with the leaders and I got on the bike at exactly the right moment. The bike portion was difficult because it consisted of getting up the same hill six times and, every time, some one would try to break away. On the last two laps, I felt a cramp at the top of my quadriceps. I tried to relax, but to no avail. The pain got the better of my leg. When I got out of the transition for the 10 km run, I started slowly but I was never able to reach my desired speed.
This is where my perfect trip ended. In the end I struggled through the run and didn’t have the finish I had hoped for. The experience, though, has convinced me that I have the potential for a winning performance. I guess what I need to say is that I will be back in London in 2012 and over the next few years I’ll be going for a world title.
Olympian Kathy Tremblay finished 31st in Beijing.