Tuesday, July 8, 2008

TEAM DISNEY

I just made it back to Orlando last night and suffice to say, I was EXTREMELY tired. It has been a whirlwind the past couple weeks full of emotion and disappointment and highs and lows and highs again! First, my own Olympic Trials which didn't go as well as I had hoped and then one last chance at redemption where everyone who potentially could be on the Bahamas Olympic team had to go to Cali, Colombia to compete in the Sr. Central American and Caribbean Championships.

Once again, I didn't do so well, finishing 5th, but because I am the only jumper from the Bahamas who has met the distance standard requirement of 6.60m within the qualifying period, as set by the International Olympic Committee for jumpers from all countries to meet, I ended up being chosen for my team. To say that I have not been stressed and anxious would be an understatement of great proportion. Even with the confirmation that I had made the team, very little relief came. I could barely sleep the night after the competition because I just kept replaying my jumps over and over in my mind.

Now that a few days have passed, I am feeling a lot better and much more hopeful about what lies ahead. I have 6 weeks or so to hone my technique as best as I can and because I have been able to do so in the past, I expect that I will be able to do so again. So I am going to forego going to Europe to compete prior to the Games. Instead, I will just get back to work and continue to do everything I possibly can to rectify my problems and be at my utmost best come August 17.

So, then came the US trials and all the drama and the intensity that that entails. I was almost as nervous for my own competition as I was for my friends and training partners who were vying for spots on the US team. In the end, Tiffany Ross-Williams won the women's 400m hurdles and David ended up winning the men's 110m hurdles. I swear the day of David's races I was just a bucket of nerves and I couldn't calm them until he was safely across the finish line, victorious. I have seen the hard work and dedication that both Tiffany and David put into their training and so if for no other reason than that, I couldn't be more happy for them. It's gonna be great to get to share this magnificent experience with them both.

The only person from the group left with an opportunity to qualify for the Games is Joice, who competes in the British Trials this upcoming weekend. I will say a prayer and keep my fingers crossed for her to do her best and join us in Beijing.

Until then, I thank God for seeing it fit to allow me to fulfill my dream this year of becoming a 5 time Olympian. I know that the members of that club are few and so for that I am truly thankful! Now I need to not just be a participant. I don't want that, don't need that. I need to get back to basics so that I can be competitive too and improve upon my 6th place finish in 2000. Work starts at 9am tomorrow morning at Walt Disney's Wide World of Sports...

9 comments:

eclectik said...

You are nothing less than the truth!

I cannot imagine the nerves and the rollercoaster ride of emotions

6.60 never looked so good...you make it look GREAT

Jumpin!

e.

12kyle said...

You've got the right mindset to get it done. You're not complacent and resting on your laurels. I like that. I'ma be tuned in and rootin' for ya

Jewells said...

I am so happy for all of you. And I am praying for Joice this weekend.

Could it be He saved the best for last???

Go ahead and do what you know!! =))

I'm getting my Blackberry tomorrow (my early b-day gift). Now I can join in the addictions.

Torrance Stephens bka All-Mi-T said...

glad to hear u feeling better
keep your head up

anonymousnupe said...

I'm curious as to how you feel about not finishing in the top 3 (if that's how the Bahamians do it, too) and yet being put on the team. Not trying to denigrate your achievement in any way, mind you. This dichotomy just struck me while watching the U.S. trials: They make you finish in the top 3 regardless of what you've done during the whole year leading up to the trials. So a horse like Tyson Gay does not make the 200 even though every runner in the race seemed to capitulate that he would have won the finals had he not gotten hurt. So pretty much every U.S. officianado knows that the team is better off with him than without.

But on the other hand, even if you finish in the top 3 but did not run "the standard" you could be left off the team. It was heartbreaking for some of those athletes (I think it was the women's 1,500 maybe?) to come in third but then in this case have what they did (or more to the point, what they did not do) during the time leading up to the trials count against them!

It's weird that the U.S. has it both ways.

I'm happy for you. Five Olympic games?! What were you, like, 12 at your first one?! We have that 5-time lady swimmer going, but she's 41!

Jackie Edwards said...

Anonymousnupe: I should make it clear that I did finish in the top 3 at my trials, I was 2nd. The process at the Bahamian Trials is very similar to that at the US. The difference lies in the depth of the fields and by depth, I mean the number of quality athletes that could potentially make the team.

I happen to be in an event, where there is not a lot of depth. Until this year, I have won my National championships numerous times, often with quality marks I might add. For instance, last year, the jump I jumped at my World Championship trials would have been 2nd at the US Worlds Trials.

In the men's 400m on the other hand in the Bahamas, we have a lot of good guys, several of whom have met the 'A' standard. So in this event, the guys who will run the 400m in Beijing had to finish in the top 3 AND had to have the 'A' standard, just like in the US. If our best guy, Chris Brown, (who was 4th at World Champs last year) had finished 4th at our Trials, he would not run the open race in Beijing, he would be on the relay, just like in the US.

However, had some guy who didn't have the 'A' standard, finished 3rd or something, he would NOT have been on the team, apart from the relay, and Chris would've taken his place. (Just for the record, lest he should read this, Chris won our trials:)

All of this to say, the process is similar, but when you come from a country where there are only 300,000 people, there just aren't going to be the same number of athletes.

Lastly, the reason I am going to the Olympics despite finishing 2nd at my trials is because there is no one else in my country who has made any standard as set forth by the IOC. These rules and standards are not made up by the US or by the Bahamas, they are universal, for all countries, and the rules apply across the board, so that 3rd place girl in the US 1500m wouldn't have gone to Beijing no matter which country she ran for. Hope this clears things up a little for you.

Track Evangelist said...

Hey I've been following your blog all season. Congrats on making the team!

Jay Hicks
Editor
PreraceJitters.com

Jackie Edwards said...

Thanks guys, I just want to say thanks once again for keeping me in your thoughts and prayers. I really appreciate it!

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