With the start of stage three of Olympic trials beginning tomorrow (a full 20 months after stage two!), I feel like it’s time to answer your questions. While I don’t think I “owe” anyone answers, I have attempted to always be open and honest with all of you about my highlights and struggles. So, while it’s tough for me to publicly share this, I would feel like I was hiding a big piece of my journey from you if I didn’t.
As many of you have figured out by now, no, I will not be competing tomorrow in the trials. I waited as long as possible, hoping that circumstances would “magically” change, but ultimately was forced to withdraw from the trials. I’ve heard some assumptions about why I withdrew (or some thinking I hadn’t even made the cut), but unless you’ve actually spoken with me, I highly doubt you know the complete story. I’ll also say that I am more than happy to talk to any of you about this in more detail, but here is the Cliff Notes version…
To be completely honest, there really wasn’t much of a “decision,” as there were so many factors out of my hands. The delay of the Olympics by a year was just the start, but there were numerous pieces (state restrictions, financial commitments, career opportunities, unexpected life changes, family events, etc.) that ultimately left me with no option except withdrawal.
I know some people will never understand and probably judge me for this, but at the end of the day my family and friends come first. I am someone who works very hard to always stand by the commitments I make. I’ve learned how important that S is when making SMART goals…I had always said I was committed to recurve through the Tokyo Olympics, but I guess I should have been more SPECIFIC and said through July of 2020. ????
So, what now? I don’t think I’ll ever be able to completely leave the sport of archery. It’s become as much a part of me as I feel like swimming (my first love) will always be. Anyone who knows me at least a little bit probably also knows how incredibly competitive I am. So yes, I won’t be able to stay away from competitions forever. However, I can’t commit to much more than that at this time. While I’d love to make international teams again and compete regularly against the best from around the world, that’s just not likely in the cards. I am thankful archery truly is a lifelong sport, and I hope to make events like Vegas part of my schedule every year.
I want to wish the archers competing in trials tomorrow the best of luck. I will be following along and hope that each of you finishes feeling like you gave it your best, regardless of the outcome. I’ll be cheering loudly at my computer/tv in June (as both our men and women try to earn full team spots in Paris), and again in July (when those Olympic medals are up for grabs).
And finally, I want to thank everyone who helped me over the past four years as I chased this dream. I wish there was a way to thank you all individually, but I was fortunate and had hundreds of you who directly impacted my journey. From the sponsors who DID continue to support me, to the individuals that gave me coaching of any kind, to those who taught me the secrets to tuning a recurve, to my teammates who pushed me to be my best, to the international shooters who trusted me to be their athlete representative with World Archery, to the fans who cheered for me, to those who made me feel like I belonged on the recurve side of the field on days when I felt like merely a guest, to those who purchased bracelets and arrow pullers and various other items to help me fund multiple World Championship and World Cup trips, to my friends who put up with my frustrations, to my family who never questioned my crazy ideas to challenge myself, and finally to my husband who sacrificed more than I’ll ever truly realize – each and every one of you allowed me to surpass any expectations I had going in on what I could achieve.
And with that, let me just say thanks for reading!