Team Canada will not be at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics

This is a powerful headline we received from the Canadian Olympic Committee last night. 

Throughout today more news has come through:

1) Athletics Canada has made the difficult decision to postpone the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Track and Field Trials. This is the follow-up information we received at 12:30pm this afternoon by e-mail

2) IOC member Dick Pound released information the Olympic Games are likely to be post-poned. (Future Date: TBD). This is follow-up information received at 2:30pm this afternoon by CBC, Flo Track, and Social Media.

Today’s post takes a look at my less than 24 hour roller coaster ride of emotions in processing how these decisions affect me as a Canadian Athlete:


Continue reading for my full reflection:

Some of my initial emotions reacting to an uncertain future included:

(1) Disappointment: (of the EGO) This was year #5 of working towards my goal representing Canada at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, it feels disappointing to consider the opportunity may cease to exist.

Reality: This is a gut-check. Clearly I care about reaching my Olympic goals, especially going through the mental drill of having this 2020 opportunity taken away rather than post-poned.

Reflection: As much as I care about my opportunity as an identified athlete to this Olympic team, I know I care more about the well-being of my friends, family, and human-being’s in general. Although the decision is direct, I agree with it, and am proud to be part of a sport body that prioritizes Global Human Health over the Olympic Games. 

(2) Fear: (FOMO) What if the International Olympic Committee (IOC) disregards Team Canada’s Choices and 2020 Tokyo Olympics happen without the Maple Leaf?

Reality: This is a risk COC has taken on behalf of all Team Canada athletes and there are 3 scenarios that result from yesterday’s decision:

1) 2020 Tokyo Olympics proceed – without Canada

2) 2020 Tokyo Olympics cancelled

3) 2020 Tokyo Olympics post-poned.

Reflection: These are not decisions I have control over. Seeing my options listed as such, I am hopeful for a Tokyo 2021 Olympics, but understand patience and flexibility will be required should this outcome come into effect. 

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(3) Guilt: The “What-if scenario”: If I was an athlete who participated in 2020 Olympics as is, I am certain I would feel guilty competing knowing I would likely be contributing to the second wave of this pandemic while putting my own, and others’ health at risk to testing positive with COVID-19.

Reflection: Even though the idea of giving up the 2020 Olympic dream feels like a bummer, I am extremely well off. I am healthy, at home, and fully supported by my family. As more information and decisions are provided, I am grateful to escape “what-if- scenario’s” and finally begin moving forwards with solid decisions. As the day continues, I also feel more deep emotions of:

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(4) Relief:  I can finally relieve the pressure to properly balance prioritizing my Tokyo Olympic Goals and the my Global Goals of:

1) COVID-19 Relief and 

2) Restoration of Global health

Reflection: Like most people, there are numerous people in my core support circle of family and friends who have been heavily affected by the actions taken in response to COVID-19. None of which have been easy for anyone to digest.

On a personal note, Both my Mom, cousin, and many friends work in the hospital. They already know COVID-19 is now here in the province of SK, know they will be coming into contact with it, know the risks of this virus, and have been informed (in hindsight) they will likely run out of PPE (personal protective equipment), ventilators, and potentially space for patients while caregiving. Yet they show up, putting themselves at risk, to deliver the care all humans are worthy of receiving. These people mean so much to me, the thought of more time to support while they navigate this as frontline workers brings me immense relief.

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(5) Hope + Motivation For Tokyo 2021,

As I was writing this reflection, the IOC released information early that the Tokyo 2020 games may be postponed. This means athletes will not be in Tokyo this Summer. Instead we will be with our families and building our community stronger in lieu of the COVID-19 Global Pandemic. Once we achieve our Global Goal of Good Health, then you will see us back in our appropriate competitions. This is an idea I believe in. 

Reflection: When my surroundings feel murky, I constantly check-in with WHY I do what I do. Like every other day, I’m sticking to my Why: 

The daily opportunity to be and achieve Greatness- both as a person and an athlete. 

Ultimately, my Why is pro-actively making the choice live my life as a journey in the pursuit to be, and facilitate greatness.


In Conclusion:

Thanks to all who read through my emotional roller-coaster. Information is empowering, and I am motivated to begin seeing light at the end of the tunnel. 

The modified Olympic Dream is tentatively Tokyo 2021. Like you, many plans have and will continue to adjust, but I am ready to lean in and embrace the chaos. 

Step #1: We’re all in this together, let’s Flatten the Curve:

– Wash your hands 

– Embrace physical and social distancing are a must

– Be Kind

Step #2: Shift gears into tackling Global Health to then plan for a magical Tokyo 2021:

– The Journey Continues!

#Tokyo2021

Much love, 

Adrea


Rebrand: Canadian Women & Sport

In Fall 2019, I was invited to the CAAWS team and joined the Canadian network as a trained Workshop Facilitator to help create gender equity between men and women in sport.

Today I am pleased to congratulate and introduce the rebrand of CAAWS as: 🎉Canadian Women & Sport🎉

http://www.womenandsport.ca/

For more information on my involvement with Canadian Women & Sport continue reading below:👇

When I moved home to Regina, SK this fall, I was greeted with an overwhelming welcome home to my Saskatchewan sport community. As I reconnected with both Sask Athletics, CSCS, and Fast and Female I was invited to contribute to and join the SK-based CAAWS team.

Welcomed home to a Fast and Female Event – Saskatoon, SK

What is Canadian Women & Sport?

Canadian Women & Sport is a non-profit, “dedicated to creating an equitable and inclusive Canadian sport and physical activity system that empowers girls and women—as active participants and leaders—within and through sport. With a focus on systemic change, we partner with sport organizations, governments, and leaders to challenge the status quo and build better sport through gender equity.” (CAAWS Website)

According to “Fuelling Women Champions” Initiative, a March 2016 Report was published which unveiled some unsettling statistics regarding gender equity in Canadian sport. Unfortunately, there is a significant drop off of female participation in sport at adolescence and a dire need for female role models in leadership positions. (See the link below for more statistics from this initiative)

https://www.caaws.ca/gender-equity-101/facts-and-stats/

What does a CAAWS Facilitator Do?

As a CAAWS Facilitator our goal is to empower women as leaders to have opportunities to reach the same finish lines as their male counterparts. The research already shows that women are starting at a different start line than males, and we believe we have identified contributing factors to this setback. Rather than dwelling on the staggered start line, we are focused on the creating the same finish line for women and men, in gender equity through sport.

Our team believes tackling this problem begins at the top. We want to normalize our young girls to seeing females in positions such as CEO’s, Board Members, Officials, Coaches, and Community Leaders in our Canadian culture. To help facilitate this, we offer Workshops to educate and connect communities, teams, and workplaces with tools and resources to empower female success.

As Facilitator’s, our SK-based Team delivers Workshops to empower communities in topics including:

  • Leading with Confidence
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Effective Communication
  • Influencing Change
  • Work/ Life Balance, and More

CAAWS CEO, Allison Sandmeyer-Graves comments, “Since 1981, CAAWS has been a crucial partner in establishing and advancing a sport environment where girls and women excel, not only in competition, but also as strong leaders in their communities,”

Previous Logo: Canadian Association of Advancement of Women in Sport (CAAWS)

What’s Next?

Today, I am grateful to be in a position to contribute to a safe, healthy, and empowered environment for females in and beyond sport; especially in a time where my fellow Canadian athletes and colleagues are taking brave actions to make this equitable environment a normalized and accessible reality.

To shed some light and hope after a heavy few weeks of news in my Canadian track community, I am pleased to congratulate and bring awareness to the rebrand of CAAWS as:

🎉Canadian Women & Sport🎉

Please enjoy the video below, and please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions you may have 🙂
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vsqj9eqFDms

Much Love,

Adrea

News: The Move

Victoria to Regina.

The Details:

(1)  I autonomously made the decision: 2019 Outdoor season would be my final track season as a member of Vic City Elite in Victoria, BC.

(2) Fall 2019 I am continuing my post-collegiate training, which includes a move back to my hometown roots in Regina, SK.

* For those who don’t know: Yes, I am back living and training in Regina.

The typical response:

–>Most people cringe and respond, Why?

Short Answer:

  • Big Decision to be brave and follow my heart
  • Secondly, because of the SK people
  • I have the privilege to continue training as a high performance athlete in my sport, with my family network, in my hometown

The bigger picture:

Not quite Netflix-level, but below is a brief Season-by-Season Recap of my time in Victoria:

Athletics Canada Western Hub

Year ONE: PC: Arthur Images, PISE Trails – Fall 2015

Athletics Canada Western Hub

Year ONE: PC: Arthur Images – Pre -Vic City Elite practice at Centennial Stadium Fall 2015

Season ONE: 2015- 2016: I graduated from U. Regina, had an awesome year athletically, and was recruited with an offer to come and train post-collegiately, full-time, under Coach Heather Hennigar, in Victoria. With the summer to contemplate, I took the offer and Fall 2015, I made the move to train full-time. Plot twist, not as a sprinter/hurdler, but as a middle distance 800m athlete. Most people were genuinely floored when I said this was what I was doing when I graduated. This year was full of struggle and success, which through perseverance took my 800m from a 2:10 to a 2:06. I was hooked to keep rolling, and people were starting to see why I made this choice to pursue being an Amateur Athlete.

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Year TWO: PC: Arthur Images: Whistler Retreat. October 2016

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Year TWO: PC: Arthur Images, Early Morning Shoot with Sarah. October. 2016

NextGen group feb 2017

Year Two: PC: Arthur Images – Some of our Next Gen Teammates// Post- Long Run at Elk Lake. Feb. 2017

 

San Diego Camp Group

Year TWO: Chula Vista Olympic Training Centre – Warm Weather Camp San Diego. Feb. 2017

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Year TWO: Summer pre-Nationals Prep @ PISE. June 2017

Season TWO: 2016-2017: NextGen Team. A few more members joined our training group, we now had a surfaced track to train on, AC WestHub was booming. This year I really clicked with my training partner Casey, and credit her to holding me accountable for many of my everyday successes , including our first Summer Circuit in Europe. Again my 800m went from 2:06 down to 2:04, I became the SK Outdoor Record Holder. I felt like I had finally received (and earned) some validation, I was on the right path, and training for the Olympics seemed like more of a realistic goal.

 

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Year THREE: Grand Canyon – April 2018 AC Altitude Camp

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Year THREE: Training in Sedona, AZ. April 2018

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Year THREE: TLC Fam taking a dance party break at work. June 2018

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Year THREE: Harry Jerome International 800m Race. June 2018

Season THREE: 2017-2018: Vic City Elite is officially named and I had the keys to my first, completely on my own place. My “Treetop Home.” I was starting to settle in Victoria, had a social network within the Victoria track community, and also where I worked, with my London Chef Family. My neighbors in this area were also incredible; Victoria was finally starting to feel like home. I could barely believe I was already on year #3 and was relieved to feel like I had some sense of routine. Then came heartbreak, then healing, missed the national final with 9th place, a summer of travel, my best friend’s wedding, and I took my 800m from a 2:04 down to a 2:03. It was an emotional year, but a big learning year for me on and off the track. Financially I was feeling the pressure this year. Yes, I was improving. Yes, I earned a bit more funding each year, and made time to work with training, but it was never enough to cover cost of living and cost of training. I was putting myself into debt for sport, but everything I needed was in Victoria. I was nervous, but went into year #4 with a big piece of humble pie.

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Year FOUR: Fast and Female Event at PISE. October 2018

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Year FOUR: Phoenix Training Camp. January 2019

phoenix 2019

Year FOUR: Post-Long Run in Scottsdale, AZ January 2019.

Season FOUR: 2018-2019: In my annual reflection, I summarized this Season as my year of the Grinch. Not because I wanted to steal Christmas, but because my heart felt like it was two sizes too small. I went into the year extremely motivated and had a strong, fall base season. Then Christmas rolled around, (I didn’t know it then), but once I left home after the holidays, I was about to become the Grinch.

In January I became an auntie while I was home in Sask for the holidays, and when I came back to Victoria, something was off. (Grinch formation phase one). I disregarded it, kept training, working, and taking action to make my athletic and personal goals reality. There were some glaring setbacks, but as the Grinch in denial, I ignored them… For months… I went to altitude training, and when I came down, something was terribly wrong. I slept 13 hours, had sharp pains, and voiced my concerns of feeling hollow and empty. I proceeded to run my slowest 800m race to date, and knew it was time to figure out what was wrong. I felt isolated, alone, and wasn’t able to get out of bed. After a full week of complete isolation, cancelled races, and time to myself, I braved a letter and realized despite the community I had, Victoria was no longer home, nor where I needed to be.

In May, I made the decision I would move to Regina. I would stay with the VCE Team through to the end of the outdoor season, tell everyone in person of my decision, pack my little car up with four years worth of memories and lessons, and would start a new chapter in Regina Fall 2019. There were many hard goodbye’s in Victoria which made me grateful for the last four years and gave me a knowing I’ll be back to visit. But as soon as I confirmed this move, everything clicked for me. It was right and I felt it through to my core. I won my next race. I ran PB times both in practice and in races consistently. I felt like me again. Once I drove all of my things home to Regina, and spent the next two months living out of a suitcase, I was able to travel and enjoy running again.

Those two months gave me the chance to reflect and enjoy my time as a VCE athlete, and to some extent feel a bit like I was on a final farewell tour now that the move was done. This was an interesting limbo where I did not quite feel like a Victoria athlete nor a Regina Athlete. I was just Adrea, a Canadian, and that was enough. At Nationals this year, I had my Grinch aha! moment, my heart exploded into at least two sizes more while I competed in the National Final. As cliché as it sounds, I made the decision to follow my heart and it was 100% what I needed to do. This summer I took that 2:03 800m down to a 2:02 and cracked top 100 in the IAAF world rankings.

The cherry on the cake to my last few weeks with VCE was the chance to hop in some races in Europe. Teammate Sarah and I were on our own, (until we linked up and made some Canadian and American Oiselle friends) and it turned out great!

 

London

Year FOUR: Sarah and Adrea in London, UK. August 2019

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Year FOUR: London, UK Skyline. August 2019

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Year FOUR: Pacing the 1500m in Roveretto, Italy. August 2019

 


Season FIVE: 2019-2020

Curious to know what’s next?

Stay Tuned.

BRussels - Adrea

Season FIVE: Homecoming. Fall 2019