My first Olympics as a coach ! I am just Back from Athens where I coached, the Congo National Team for the Athletics from 100m to 1500m track. As you know I had to decide to concentrate on the Olympics the last 6 months. My First Olympic Games as an Official coach, maybe the youngest this year I felt really small when I met the best coaches in the world and no doubt I still have to learn a lot from them. But as some told me: “If they qualified, they deserve to be there as you worked to be there too”. I won’t write all the results, but it was amazing, to be there.
The dream I had of the Olympics since I was 12 was different from the reality, events are far away from each other in the country, I suppose to promote and bring money to small town in the country, Athletes look impressive but very human, I mean by this not exceptional when you talk to them, they are only people at the end of the day with their fear of doing well.
The transport system was really well organized, security unbelievable. In the stadium I was disappointed by the number of spectators, who only came for finals. Same happened in other sport events. I had the chance to run a few laps on the track with some top athletes (that I don’t remember their name…sorry). But the Olympic magic were there, every day 24/24, and I bring it with me in Ireland.
On the Monday 23rd of august someone took my official pass and my Bag with money and my National gears of Congo…choked and I did not understood with all this security especially when my picture were on the pass but I went over it.
I had to wait until 2am to go back in the Olympic village which was amazing, big party all nights and days, which surprise me, what we seem to forget when we look at the TV it’s that there are hundreds of Olympic athletes, we only remember the best of them, but so many people in the world qualified for it, it is unbelievable but normal if you look at the number of sports and number of events by sport plus every qualifying rounds.
I went to watch as spectators, Volley ball, diving, canoeing. And the Triathlon, so lets talk about it now:
Hopefully you watched the race on TV, the women race was the most exciting in term of race management and surprise, with Loretta Harrop passed by Kate Allen in the last 100m, I met Edith, Julie, Aubrey, Peter Jack and a couple from 3D I think (apologies If I forgot your name guys ). The triathlon was far away from the village so Triathletes stayed in Vougliami town. I stayed with the Switzerland team the first night and the French Team the second night that I went to train with as a consultant for a week in July.
I had the Chance to discuss with lots of interesting people, some that I knew and some I met there. Dr Rob the doctor from the Great Britain team, Jacque Laparade (ETU) & Patricia Considine (National technical Director) from France, Brendon Downey NewZeland Coach and mostly National Coaches there which will be too long to write. I think it was very good for Triathlon Ireland to develop contacts and they all were interested in Triathlon in Ireland, they also told me to contact them at any time. I had an interesting meeting with some people of the ETU and the French Federation after the women race in a café in the village too.
Julie and I went swimming the triathlon swim part, a wee bit illegally (Well no signs told us to not swim there) but had a great Craic there, with the guards shouting to come back 🙂
Anyway, the men race was incredible, and the night before the French coach told me their strategy and think they keep it pretty well until S.Belaubre went with the first group with O.Marceau which I stay with the previous night and the Swiss team. I honestly shouted for France and thought they had a good chance to win, or Olivier Marceau who ran under the French color the previous years.
What can I say more, after watched the Triathlon, it does not seem so inaccessible anymore, I believe we have our place as a country at the next Olympics, I know I have big expectation, but I want to reach my goals as anybody, and so far I went through.
I thought that going there will make me learn “secrets of getting a gold medal”, Today I know what the secret is:
“Listen, watch, analyze, learn, try & adapt then Do mistakes and try again, again and again, believe in what you do, smile and don’t try to reinvent the wheel”
What I saw is that winner attitude are not be shy of their expectation, it does not mean that you will success but if it does not work, well you know you have done your best, just participating or qualify is the easy bit, it depends of your ability and facility to train, the hard work comes only after that the pain became your training partner instead of your enemy.
I would like to finish with the best example of the British athletes who had to run with his bike on his shoulder on the Olympic triathlon event last week, he DID NOT give up, he was there to race and he proudly did and Finish. I think it was Marc JENKINS, if I do not make a mistake. This man is what I call an Athlete and has all my respect.
Congrats to Hamish Carter and Bevan DOCHERTY who won the race, congrats to their coach I met there.
Finally the Fantastic part from the Olympics is actually not the Olympics themselves, but the Emotion from the Athletes, Coaches and spectators; this is what made the Olympics, a special spirit and soul.
Thanks and Regards
National coaching and development Officer