I sit here tonight feeling nostalgic, excited and even scared. It is sad to know that the life I have been living for over six years will change drastically after this trip and it is also exciting to think of what lays before us. There is an amazing opportunity awaiting us and it is mine and Patricia's job to seize that opportunity. Now this brings me to what I truly wanted to write about. I feel extremely confident in what Patricia and I can do in London and that is based on pure hard work over the last 18 months. We both have been working hard for longer than that, but 18 months is how long we have been working together towards this goal (with some off time). That being said I sense some major skepticism in what Obee and I can do as a double. First, it's our first Olympics (not just together but period). Of course, I was a spare in Beijing and didn't race and at that time, Patricia probably didn't even know what rowing was and hadn't even entered her last year of highschool. I know so many believe that experience is the final answer to succeeding at this level and I have to say it hurts me and I struggle with hearing that the chances of Obee and I doing well are small due to our lack of combined experience. Second, the way we got in the boat together this year was under unique circumstances and I feel that so many believe that we are just some second choice double that is heading to the Olympics to participate. Well frankly, I'm sick of it and I'm done listening to those opinions.
More importantly what I really wanted to write about today was Patricia. I feel that Patricia has been given no credit whatsoever over the last year for what her and I accomplished in 2011. It took two people to earn that silver medal and I have no idea why everyone seems to get so caught up in her age and "lack of experience"! Where did this strange mentality come from that we are only capable of greatness once we have achieved greatness repeatedly? You're capable of greatness before you achieve greatness...that's what capable means! People think that because she is 20 years old she's not capable of focus, of going hard enough, of knowing how to race, of handling pressure, of keeping her head screwed on. Well, they're wrong. I think the person who has rowed thousands, yes thousands of kilometers in wind, rain, slow, ice, cold, fatigue, sickness, heartache and tension with her should be the judge as to whether this girl can handle racing on the greatest world's stage. Me! Patricia Obee is the strongest, fastest sprinting, most powerful lightweight woman in Canada, and I'm racing with her to hopefully prove that she's all that in the world too.
I commend those crews out there with loads of experience because perhaps they are the ones that will come out on top at the end of all this. All I want to say is that MY EXPERIENCE teaches me that you can't let others tell you what you're capable of, only you can decide that.