Home safe and sound! It’s a bit cooler than I thought it would be….mind you, while I was overseas it was in the low 30s most days. South Korea was definitely an experience for me, the food, people and the culture – mind blowing. The 52nd ISSF World Championships was amazing, 4255 athletes, 91 countries and 60 Tokyo 2020 Olympic quota spots distributed. Unfortunately New Zealand didn’t secure a spot, but we still have all of next year to stake our claim to some quotas.
The most exciting part of the Championships for me was the four-team shoot off for the final spot in the mixed doubles final. Nat and her shooting partner, Owen, had done exceptionally well to get this far, considering they only shot as a pair maybe once before the Championship. My heart broke a little when they were the second team to be knocked out of the shoot off, with the team that won it medalling in the final. I can’t remember the last time I got so nervous watching a sport!
Now back at home, I have had a little bit of time to reflect on this year, which has been such an overwhelming, mind-blowing rollercoaster ride. I’ve gone from being a full time athlete, retiring at the Commonwealth Games, to a person not sure of anything or what life would bring, to being a manger of an Olympic medallist in a sport of which I had no understanding. In a way, this opportunity saved me a little – it’s so hard retiring and leaving what you know behind. I knew I was a good athlete but if I’m honest, I didn’t know if I was good at anything else. It’s scary and easy to get a little lost on the way. Working with Nat has allowed me to work with what I know and that is offering all my knowledge and the experiences I’ve had as an athlete to help her achieve everything she is capable of. It’s now my turn to do the work that was done for me, which to this day I appreciate more than I probably let on. I still think a little more reflection is required and I definitely need to work on my CV (thanks to Carolyn Donaldson for helping me figure things out).
Surgery is on the cards for me and then a trip to Fiji where I am the Maid of Honour for my best friend! After that who knows, hopefully I can continue to work with Natalie, maybe I’ll have a full time job, or maybe I’ll surprise you all somehow.
Thank you for taking time to read my blogs! Appreciate all of you and all the support over the years!