As I sit here on the wet and humid last day of the Tokyo Olympics, there is a sense of melancholy. I have heard it described before but was not sure what people were talking about when they mentioned the significant feeling of despair that comes over you when you realise that it is all over. The Olympic comedown has set it. There is a long time before we get to go through Olympic fever all over again. So rather than stick to our normal series of blogs on current research and implementation of training or rehabilitation, I thought I would share some reflections over the next few blogs about what the Olympic experience has entailed.
For those who may not know I have had the good fortune of attending the Olympics under the support of the Australian Olympic Committee and Athletics Australia. I was one of a few coaches that was given the opportunity to attend as a personal coach, rather than as an official team coach. To say that this was a unique Olympics is an understatement, we waited an extra year to see these Olympics and I can wholeheartedly say the wait was worth it. For me having two athletes compete in the athletics, Hana Basic (100m) and Kendra Hubbard (4 x 400m), I have also been in the unique position that I have been in Tokyo for the entirety of the track and field program. I say this as many of the athletes and coaches that finished their campaigns in the early part of the program are already back in quarantine in Australia or have shipped out to continue competing in the professional circuit of Europe or North America.
With this series of blogs, I thought I would give some insights on a few different areas. Some are performance focused, others more about the games experience and my involvement in that experience. The series will include the following.
- The COVID Games
- What the Olympic experience is like and behind the curtain of world sport.
- Lessons learned in the performances of my athletes and my own coaching
- Lessons on drivers of performance at this level of competition
- What I think it takes to be successful at the Olympics