Emotional Rollercoaster (3/18/14)

BY KATIE UHLAENDER

Thank you for the awesome messages, McGregor Elementary School in Texas!
A surprise welcome home in Kansas. I attended a Cheylin High School basketball game as the whole community welcomed me!

My Olympic helmet was designed by the same person who designed my mentor/friend Picabo Street’s helmet.
My life post-Sochi — tagging and caring for calves and cows!

Since I finished my race on Feb. 14, I’ve been in a bit of an emotional state not dissimilar to breaking up with a boyfriend — I was the one who broke up with him, but it still hurts for some reason. It just stinks when things just don’t work out. There’s nothing you can do about it, it just is what it is. You don’t really feel like dating again right away, and you’re just bummed for a while. I’ve been on an emotional rollercoaster after losing a medal and having an amazing experience at the same time. I got to see my teammates Holcomb, Noelle, Matt, Langton, Lauryn, Jamie, and the list goes on…( GO USA!!) medal. It was a great showing for sliding sports, but, at the same time, I tasted victory and what it would have been like only to realize I was 0.04 seconds short. I can’t even blink that fast!

One thing that has helped me cope with this huge disappointment is that to my country, my family, my communities and to my friends it wasn’t a disappointment. Of course they all wanted me to win a medal; they all knew the struggles I had gone through to get there. There was a point where we weren’t even sure I would make the Olympic Team. I told my family I was going to fight with all I had; it didn’t matter if what I had was subpar, it would be enough to fight. That is what I’ve always been good at: fighting with my all. My coach asked me where that fight had been up to that point, and I told him that everything else was practice for this moment.

I spent my season trying to figure out if I was “OK.” I started to have doubts the night before my race, and I spoke to Picabo Street. She told me there was no room for bull crap in my brain, and when I heard that I stuck with it. There is no point in doubting, no point to second-guessing. You will gain more from attacking a situation with what you have than second-guessing yourself. This had been a theme to my journal entries leading in to the Games, and to now hear Picabo hammer it into my brain the night before my race gave me a sense of calm. I would like to say thank you to her, to my coaches Tuffy, Stu and Zach, to Snorre and Maya Pederson for always being there, and to my family for telling me to fight. Additionally, I’m thankful for all the support I had from the community — I wouldn’t have made it without you (Texas, Kansas, Colorado, and the rest of the nation for sending notes of support).

Before the Sochi Games, my biggest fear was being a disappointment to those who had helped me get there. I couldn’t guarantee a win, but I did guarantee a fight and I gave one. I’ve learned a lot from my experience, and that what I have learned will make me a real threat moving forward. I hope you will all join me on my final journey.