The Games are over and done with. Can we say either of us is happy with the outcome? Probably not. Can we say that this campaign has been one of the best experiences we have had in our lives? Hell yes.
Immediately following the medal race where we came up short of the podium, both of us posted our reactions on Facebook with two different perspectives.
“A lot has been going through my mind since we crossed the finish line a few days ago. To have something we’ve worked so hard for in our grasp and to have it slip away is something I’m still trying to make sense of. We were so close; yet it clearly wasn’t our time and I’m making peace with that. Having the result we had taught me more about life, how I want to carry myself and even how I want to raise my kids, than a medal could have ever taught me. A very good friend of mine sent me this quote and it really stuck with me. ‘Experience is what you get when you don’t get what you want. Character is what you get when you embrace your experiences.’ Competing on the world’s biggest stage for my country is an experience I will always treasure very near and dear to my heart.
There are a lot of things in life we can’t control and sailing is a cruel sport in that way and yet that challenge is why we love it so much. Walking onto the spectator beach and hugging my family and friends after such a disappointment made me poignantly aware of all the friendships I have made these past four years. And for that I can walk away from this experience with the greatest gift of all.
I want to extend my warmest congratulations to my friends and competitors, but most of all to my very good friend, Caleb Oliver Paine. I owe all of our supporters a huge thank you for the past four years including the US Sailing Team, its sponsors, my coach Dave Ullman and my teammate Annie Haeger. It’s been a journey I wouldn’t trade for the world and one I couldn’t have done without you. Looking forward to whatever comes next.”
“‘Our mission is to train and compete to the absolute best of our abilities, to represent our country and sponsors with pride, to exhibit exemplary sportsmanship to our competitors, and to be model athletes for the upcoming generation.’
After campaigning for 4 years and competing in the 2016 Olympic Games, I am PROUD that we have done just that.
The end result of the regatta was not what we wanted but the path of camaraderie and community during our campaign made us believe we could achieve anything. ‘Thank you’ does not encompass all the love I hold for everyone who followed along these last 4 years.
With time, I am sure I will gain more perspective on this incredible journey. For now I am just proud. I am proud to have worked with a coach like David Ullman. Proud to sail with my best friend and incredible talent Briana Provancha. Proud to have represented my country. And proud to have accomplished our ‘mission’ we set out with 4 years ago.”
Thank you to all who have followed on this roller-coaster of a journey. As for Briana, Annie and Dave the future remains unknown. Perspective has allowed us to see that no one can take away the experiences we had and the love we felt. To all the young adults, kids and grownups who have a crazy dream that seems slightly out of reach, do not be afraid to start somewhere.
Like Briana wisely said, “Experience is what you get when you don’t get what you want. Character is what you get when you embrace your experiences.” Go Team HP and Go Team USA!