YOUR BEST TEAMMATE IS YOU
Thanks, for being you.
The weeks, months and years behind you have defined the person who will get off that plane in South Korea. They have also defined how that person will show up when the curtain rises — now as a lifelong member of Canada’s Olympic Team.
And there is no doubt that person is ready. You’ve proven it to yourself and now you’ve earned the chance to prove it to the world
So, on behalf of any particular goal you ever set; of any coach, teacher, mom, dad or neighbour who believed in you; of every brutal work-out; of Canada; and especially on behalf of your new Olympic teammates … thanks, for being you.
But, let’s keep the champagne on ice for now. This is not a message meant for jubilation or self-celebration. It should not echo ‘rah-rah-sis-boom-bah’ or cue the chant of ‘Ca-na-da’. Your Olympic journey will be proudly paved in red and white soon enough.
No, this is simply a reminder — a reminder to continue being your well-prepared, high-performing self.
“Be comfortable with who you are.” - Catriona Le May Doan
We can pat ourselves on the back later, looking back on our decisions without regret.
Now is the time to remember why you put in the work in the first place and how you will make the best version of yourself appear when you need it to.
“Be comfortable with who you are, and with the work you have done.” says your lead Athlete Mentor for the Games Catriona Le May Doan. “Know that you are prepared … what matters most (is) not results but in how we react to our successes and our struggles.”
You won’t be remembered because you won a medal or performed beyond expectations. You will be remembered by how you deal with whatever the Games is going to throw at you. As a member of Team Canada this is a huge advantage, because all you have to do is be yourself in moments that matter. After all, isn’t that how you got here in the first place?
This is what it means to be resilient.
Sure, it’s almost go-time. Indeed, the climax of your story is quickly approaching. But you already know this, you are hungry for it. Now is not the time to be seeking inspiration.
However, right now is the perfect time to take a pause … *pause* … be present … and be connected to everything you have become. Soak in the bravery, confidence and self-awareness you worked to achieve along the way. Now is the perfect time to regard how you’ve earned these qualities so you can be who you need to be when go-time does arrive.
Team Canada’s mental health councillor can help. Dr. Karen McNeill made a presentation at our final Pyeongchang preparation seminar in October. She reminds us of how we can consistently be the best version of ourselves in the face of potential stressors, demands, even negative thoughts or feelings around Olympic performance.
Sure, the risk of distraction is real and present. But since you are actively aware of the kind of person you are in any situation — and you’ve planned for the right reactions that will work best for you — simply being yourself is a huge advantage. In fact, your personality could be your secret weapon.
Indeed, there remains a lot to think about, maybe even a few boxes left to tick. But having trust in the people and resources around you is perhaps the final step in allowing yourself to…well…be yourself.
Besides, you got this. And the COC has the resources to help you stay ‘connected’ and in ‘control’ of any ‘challenges’ that will arise.
New environment? Sure. New routine? Likely. Necessary adjustments? No doubt. But you got this, too. Leverage the resources available to you both online and on-site at Games. There is an entire mission team here to support you.
Know there will be a mental health counsellor on site as part of the team’s broader initiative to promote wellness for everyone. Counselling, crisis, consultation or simple observation resources are available to you.
No matter what, you will be you. You are the proof of your hard work. You are the proof that Canada believes in the individual you are. Now, it’s up to you.
“We could be among the best countries … If not the best.” - Isabelle Charest
“We could be among the best countries,” Chef de Mission Isabelle Charest has said. “If not the best country, at the Games.”
Indeed, the confidence to believe in yourself — in the power and influence of everything you have become — will define this Olympic team. But, the confidence to actually be yourself in the moments that matter is what it means to be resilient. And that’s what will truly define your Olympic journey.
So, thanks, for being you