Catharine Pendrel returns to Olympics in mountain biking
Harvey Station mountain biker hopes her experience will help her overcome the struggles of her last Olympics
Harvey Station's Catharine Pendrel will once again compete on the Olympic stage in Rio in August, making her third trip to the Olympic games.
"It's pretty cool. To get to go to the Olympics once is pretty amazing," said Pendrel.
"To have the opportunity to go a third time and have another chance to have an amazing race and an amazing experience representing Canada, it feels pretty good."
Pendrel was an automatic selection for Canada's Olympic mountain biking team after coming in fifth at the world championship.
She said the excitement of going to the Olympics hasn't worn off with her third opportunity, it has just changed.
"The second time I was definitely a medal favourite and was very focused on that and unfortunately didn't have the day that I wanted, but I get another chance to put it all together."
Pendrel competed at the Olympics in 2008 and 2012. She was considered one of Canada's medal hopefuls in 2012, but came in ninth. A tearful Pendrel said "Maybe in Rio", after the race.
When you're an athlete and you go out and you publicly say what you want to achieve and then you come up short, it's tough.- Catharine Pendrel, three-time Olympian
"You know when you're an athlete and you go out and you publicly say what you want to achieve and then you come up short, it's tough," said Pendrel.
She said that experience taught her about how hard winning at the highest level is.
But Pendrel bounced back.
In 2014, she won gold at the world championship and the Commonwealth Games. Then in 2015 she won silver at the Pan Am Games.
Pendrel said she's just focusing on having her best performance. She hopes her experience experience will help her this time around.
"I think I'm better able to modulate my energy before the games, because I know a little bit more about what it's about. But I'm sure that the day before the race I'll be just as nervous as any other time."
Pendrel will spend the next three weeks training. She has one more competition before the Olympic Games.
She will race at the mountain biking world cup in Mont-Sainte-Anne, Que. and then it's off to Rio.