Commonwealth Games Blogs

Happy with the bronze, but what if...

That's it. It's over.

I'm writing now from the airport in Delhi, on my way home already. This is the first moment in six hours that I've had a chance to reflect since my race and actually look at my medal.

So how do I feel? Somewhat satisfied. The medal is bronze, and some people say finishing third is better than being second ("the first loser"). But, to be honest, I really think I could have (and should have) gotten that silver medal. I missed it by 0.24 seconds.

I'm starting to run the "what if?" scenarios through my head, but I'm forcing myself to stop. There were a million ways that 1500-metre race could have gone. Those scenarios could have been for the better, or they could have been for the worse.

I'm happy to have won a medal, that's for sure! Of course, I would have liked to place first or second, and of course I would be an angry guy if I didn't make podium. This is the state I'm in now, and my emotions towards the race will continue to go a little bit up, and a little bit down. Generally, I am very happy with my accomplishment.

Still, it's hard not to wonder "what if?" Especially in a race like the 1500, which is very tactical. What if I kept going strong from the start, as I had planned? Would I have tired out my opponents and won, or tired myself out and not medalled at all? What if I didn't start strong on purpose, and just saved everything for that final sprint? What if I attacked again earlier on in the race? Too many options, and too many variables out of my control.

While I'm happy with my first-ever major games medal, it's the competitive athlete in me that will not be satisfied until I win a gold at a major games. It's coming, though. I'm still young, coming up strong, and constantly improving. At the same time, I'm not going to wait for it. I have to work for it.

Looking forward

This is a very high motivational period for me, right after competition. Regardless of the outcome, I'm on a high from the competition and I can't wait to compete again. At this point, I'm looking back at the race and analyzing it a bit, playing out different scenarios, then completely letting go.

cassidy-get-101010-200.jpgI can also look at what I had to overcome to achieve a spot on the podium. Rather than use the sickness I battled one week ago as an excuse, I chose to look at it as something to overcome in order to accomplish this feat. I have to remember I was in bed for four days just a week before the Commonwealth race. Sometimes "excuses" serve as rational reasons to justify a performance and re-build confidence, other times there is no rationalization because it is so close at the finish.

Those are the times where you have to think, "you win some and you lose some."

As I mentioned before, if that race was rerun again, tonight, it would have gone completely differently. For sure. That's just the way the sport is. Nevertheless, Kurt Fearnley of Australia deserved the gold. He's powerful and extremely light, making for a very high top-end speed, even on a slow track surface like the one in Delhi. But I also believe that there are scenarios where I could have taken the gold. Some may have been more risky, and it is hard to say if they would have been successful.

Now it's time to look ahead. This is why I love this sport. I love the stadiums, the crowds, the best-in-the-world competition, the chance to represent my country, the medals, the speed, the sense of accomplishment. This experience at the Commonwealth Games does nothing but drive me harder in training for the next event, and then the next big event, and ultimately the London Olympics in 2012.

Well done, Delhi

It's too bad there was so much negative focus on the Games. It took away a lot from the competition, everything the athletes and the people of India worked hard for. They really did not receive any credit for overcoming the setback created by the monsoon season. Two weeks ago, they were still pumping out water from the parking garage in my accommodation, which was actually better than the one I had in Beijing. There were a few things that were done very well, and of course things that could have been improved on. But that's the way things always are.

Hopefully the media can see that the majority of the athletes are disappointed that the focus of many of the stories surrounding the Commonwealth Games was on Delhi's problems rather than on the competition.  

I enjoyed the Delhi Games more as my time there went on. After a while, it starts to feel a little like home, and you settle in, meet new people, and talk training and sports. Games like these are just such a great experience. I would have loved to stay and enjoy India more, but I have to get home to start training for the New York Marathon. And, to be honest, once competition is over I more often than not feel strange. I'm still in "game mode," so it's actually good when I have another race on the horizon. I'm eager to train. And eager to win more.

Thank you, Canada, for tuning in and for all of your support. This really is a team sport, and it is such an honour to represent a wonderful country with wonderful people. See you soon, and hopefully with more medals - of a different colour!

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