February 21, 2011

A Late-February Memory - by Curt Tomasevicz

I know that late February is not typically a person’s favorite time of the year. Of course, I’m sure there are exceptions, but for the most part, even the snow-enthusiasts are beginning to get tired of the slick roads, the short day light hours, and the low temperatures. Spring weather is more than month away so there isn’t really even a light at the end of the tunnel yet. In Nebraska, the ground is still frozen so preparations for planting season are still on hold. As a winter-sport athlete, you would think that I would love the chilling temps and snow, but I have to admit my favorite month would have to be July or August. But without a doubt, I will certainly always hold a spot in my heart for the last two weeks of February; the typical block of days reserved for the Winter Olympics every four years.

One year ago this week, my teammates and I won the Olympic gold medal in the 4-man bobsled race. It’s amazing how much has happened in the past year. Approaching February 27, 2010, I certainly didn’t know what may lie ahead for me. During the days leading up to the race, I remember how hard I tried to soak up every moment of the Olympics. I really felt fortunate just to be able to be in the position I was. I woke up early every day at the Games in the Athletes’ Village because I didn’t want to miss a moment of the experience. I knew that the 16 days of the Olympics were going to go fast, and as one of only a few thousand athletes in the world, it would be a life-long memory.
So I watched almost every competition from our live feed in the athlete’s lounge. I relaxed in the game lounge where there were at least ten X-Box game systems and video games, as well as snack bar. And of course, I spent a lot time in the dining hall which became a place for all the world’s athletes to meet and mingle. Don’t get me wrong, I was still preparing as hard as I possibly could to be at my very best athletically for my race. We had practice as well as weight and sprint training in the days leading up to the event. But, more than anything, I remember having this feeling that ‘something big was going to happen’. I understand that’s easy to for me to say now. Hindsight makes that an obvious statement. So as I look back at one year ago from this week, I have to say that feeling of anticipation was unmistakably the strongest emotion. I couldn’t wait for my race and, at the same time, I knew that I would always remember those last two weeks of February 2010.

It’s been an amazing year to say the least.

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