Archive for the 'winter olympics' Category

February 8, 2010: I Didn’t Qualify for the Games

Los Angeles, California – Since my last blog I spent a week in Quebec, Canada, for the final race and my final chance at qualifying for the Games, and then a week devoid of snowboarding left alone with my thoughts. For the first time in a really long time I didn’t feel like writing (which is very uncharacteristic of me if you’ve been reading my past entries). I wasn’t sure what to say, and I couldn’t muster the courage or energy to put my feelings down in writing. Frankly all I wanted to do was crawl into bed.

The days going into my last race were great. I was riding well, confident, and with little fear, even on the steep stuff. I figured out the right line to take (round) and I felt fast and wasn’t blowing out of the course. The biggest change was my boots; Coach Mark noticed the springs in the back were too loose and when he tightened them it made a humongous difference. While I was happy with the now extra responsiveness of the equipment, part of me thought, “Could this have been hurting me all along?” On race day I took a round line just like what worked in training. But it wasn’t fast enough. I ended up 19th in my course, just three spots out of making a second run.

So I didn’t qualify. For the second time. I guess I can’t take two years off due to financial constraints and expect to come back and compete against people that not only did not take those two years off, but also have the money and emotional backing of their national federation. The Philippine Olympic Committee did say that they would support me, if I qualified for the Games. But what about all those years and all the money it took to get me to the point where I could qualify, and all the sacrifices in the process because I couldn’t afford to have the best equipment, the best trainers or the right food when I was going up against fully supported athletes that had a team of staff to cater to them? But that’s neither here nor there.

I believed I could do it. I prayed I could do it. I had the hope that I could do it. I worked to the bone that I could do it. But in the end it didn’t happen.

I’ll probably spend the rest of my life wondering why. I guess I just didn’t have it in me? But I know I did, with all my heart, deep down I knew I could do it. So how could I be so wrong? I know there are choices that I made within the process that I’ll regret. Everyone says it’s about the journey, not the destination, but for me this time around, it was about the destination. And I didn’t get there.

While I am grateful for the opportunity and the wonderful and continual support from everyone, it’s hard to describe the loss and pain. People say to me, ‘at least you tried for your dream,’ but I think your dream stops being a dream when you really work at it and devote your life to it. For me my dream became my existence, my purpose, and now where does that leave me. Very empty, and definitely unfulfilled.

My friend who also did not make the Games likened the loss to the death of your spouse. But I look at it as my spouse that not only cheated on me, but also drained our bank accounts, maxed out the credit cards and took off leaving me to pay the bills with a mountain of humiliation. I feel completely betrayed by snowboarding after everything I’ve put into it. Before I said it was the one thing that made me feel good, even after a day that it made me feel bad. But as of right now, I don’t ever want to snowboard again.

I’m not writing this to gain pity or for comforting words. I guess I’m writing it to be kind of a closure for me, an end to the story, a real end to the story and not the overinflated ‘I’m fine, I tried my best and I’m happy with that.’ Because it’s not the happy ending I was hoping for, and I feel I’ve let everyone down.

I do want to thank you for your support throughout all these years – financially, emotionally, mentally. My current emotional state does not ignore nor belittle that. You all are the team I wish I could have had on the road with me, cheering me on, and carrying me through the tough times. I couldn’t have done this without you, and for that I am eternally grateful.

Maybe as the feeling of failure dissipates, I will begin to realize and appreciate the journey. But for now I’m just trying to make it through each day.

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August 2008: Back on Track

After the 2006 Olympic season, I returned to full-time employment in an effort to satisfy financial obligations that had accumulated from previous years of professional racing. While I was working full-time, I was able to continue physical training and maintain a limited race schedule which included the 2007 World Championships. Now with the 2010 Winter Olympics looming ahead, I’ve once again left the corporate world behind and rededicated my life to full-time competitive snowboard racing, with a renewed vigor of achieving the goal of making it to the 2010 Winter Olympic Games and becoming the first female representative of the Philippines to compete in any Winter Olympics.

While I had a great opportunity to foster a career in the corporate world, I could not pass up the chance to make history and achieve my Olympic dream. I am fortunate enough to have the skill set and years of experience to be able to accomplish this goal, and have been given this unique opportunity to bring pride and glory to the country of my heritage.

February 2006 : 2006 Winter Olympics ~ Close But Not This Time

It is with great disappointment to tell you that despite all the hard work and tremendous support, I did not qualify for the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Torino, Italy. After the five qualifying World Cup races, I achieved only one of the two criteria and was unable to obtain the Top 25 result needed to participate.
I gave it my all but it was not meant to be. Not this time.

It has been a difficult time accepting this fate. The past six years have been a tremendous road full of adventures, great experiences and athletic growth. I hope to have increased the exposure of the Philippines and its athletic prowess in all types of sports, and hopefully encouraged and inspired others along the way.

I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your continued support, motivation and good wishes, for I would not have made it this far without you. It has been an honor and privilege to represent you.