Advice from a former Olympian turned Chef de mission.
“Try to fully appreciate this opportunity while you are doing it. As an athlete, you’re so focused on result and the next stage. It took me a long time to figure out there is so much more to it than just results” – Evelyn Williamson
That’s the message from New Zealand Chef de mission, Evelyn Williamson. An Olympian and 15-time World Championship competitor, Evelyn understands what it takes to enjoy a long and successful athletic career. After 15 years of international level sport, the key, Evelyn says, to her longevity and continued passion even after retirement, was learning to look past the times and the placings.
“I stayed so long in sport because I figured out what made me happy- I made an effort to understand and participate in the culture of places I visited, small things like trying the local foods”
“I couldn’t have had such a long career without knowing that, I couldn’t have lasted just focusing on the results”
Many sports are won and lost by the smallest margins, split seconds, a final basket or shoot out, perspective can be difficult to find from the inside.
Athletes dedicate hours and often invest their lives in sport. They hunt glory, strive for excellence and dream of wins. While a gold medal and a chance to stand on top of the podium is an admirable and inspiring feat, enjoying sport sometimes requires more.
Strive for the win, but don’t lose sight of the journey.
Evelyn’s parting words to all youth athletes;
“Take advantage of the culture. Take stock of the moment.”