It was really cool watching her make the final. I know she was a little disappointed in what she got in the final. You take one step at a time and then you make the final and you want to win a medal. Obviously, people wouldn’t be here if that wasn’t their goal. So I think once she was in the final, she had her sights set on big things. But at the same time, I think her being in the final and coming in 9th in the world, that’s amazing. It was incredible. I’m really inspired by what she did.
I’ve never pole vaulted myself. I would love to, but I’m a little afraid of getting injured at this point. I have wanted to, but I have to be smart. As long as I’m still kayaking, I’m not sure if pole vaulting will be in my training.
I’ve also been able to watch the other canoe/kayak races. Norway’s Eirik Veras Larsen won the Gold medal for Men’s K1 1000-meters. It’s funny, I told Eirik’s wife in Florida that if Eirik [Veras Larsen] wins I’d buy her a teacup pig. And he won, so she came running up to me and told her I had to buy her a teacup pig. It’s like a really tiny pig. It was just a joke in Florida, we saw it on TV and thought it was really funny. Now I have to buy her a pig. I feel a little inclined to stay true to that promise.
When I’m not training on the water, I’m resting. When I’m trying to recover I lay in bed, watch TV and movies. I don’t go out and do a lot of stuff. I’m really pretty boring and lazy. I like to browse on the Internet for whatever I’m interested in at the time, like kite surfing. A lot of people get super hyped up and that’s their way of dealing with the pressure, producing more energy from that energy. I just like to be relaxed, keep doing the same things I’ve been doing all year, and that helps me to have that race I’m looking for.
The coverage is so good on TV, it’s not better than in person, but it’s pretty darn good. You get the good perspective with the cable on top, the cameras on the side and the guys in the water. It’s makes it much more of a spectator event. I think that’s what our sport needs to do to make it more popular, to provide that perspective so people can relate better. You can relate to the 100-meters in track because you know how fast that is and everybody can run. But you can’t relate to sitting in a kayak because most people haven’t done it. But putting it in perspective so people realize how fast it is and how difficult it is, I think that makes it really exciting.
The 200-meters is the shortest distance canoe/kayak race at the Olympics. There’s no real pacing like there would be in a 1000-meter race. But I can’t race it like it’s a 50 or 100[-meters], you’ll never make the whole distance. There is a little bit of thought on what you need to do. Everybody has their own strengths. Some guys get out in the start better, some guys carry their speed in the middle better, and some guys come home better.
I’ve heard a lot of people talk about the 200-meters as validating the last eight or 12 years in 30 seconds. But it’s just like any other day. It’s obviously a very special experience. I know I’m going to do the best that I can do at that time. And I know that I’ll do that.
My race starts Friday morning at 9:30am in London (4:30am in Georgia). You can watch it live on NBCOlympics.com or later on NBC at 10am and 11:45am.
Thanks for everything,