It’s been a busy little while for Olympic windsurfer Nikola Girke.
The Olympic windsurfer sent along a couple of e-mail updates and several awesome photos. Here’s a portion of the first update she sent following a two-week training stint in Tarifa, Spain.
“It was no doubt one of the best training camps I’ve ever had. Arriving after a long 37-hour trip (bag issues), I fell into bed the first night, excited about the next day — a planned recovery/adjustment day for those of us with jetlag. Plans changed, though, and by 11 a.m. local time (which was my 2 a.m.), we were on (and sometimes in) the water taking on 30 knots. Talk about having to get adjusted and getting “catapulted” into the new time zone quickly.
Two sessions a day in windy and shifty conditions had us completely wiped out after 4 days. Tough days, but what made it a bit more bearable was having tons of dolphins jumping around in amongst us. Two days off followed. And then…back at training.”
“…and the leather medal (4th) goes to Nikola!
Well, I’d be lying if I said I was happy with my result at the Pan Am Games. I definitely had hoped to be on the podium, but going into the event knowing what the conditions would be like and not putting my focus on the Pan Am Games at all (rather, focusing all my training efforts on the upcoming Olympic Qualifier in Perth), I was probably not as ‘prepared’ as my competition was for this venue.
For many Pan American countries, the Pan Am Games is as important for them as the Olympics — and thus, these athletes focus on this event alone.
Canada, however, places no value on these Games (for sailing) and thus it was always regarded as a great training/racing opportunity. Needless to say, the competitor in me still doesn’t like to lose.
Considering the tough conditions, my least favorite and the most unaccommodating for my size, I sailed an incredibly solid regatta. I had excellent starts and I gave my most relentless and powerful performance each and every race.
The event was filled with more variables then I had ever encountered before. The wind was very unpredictable, the courses were not what I was used to, etc. Regardless, I never gave up and I never stopped fighting! I was able to stay level-headed, and looking back this event was excellent training for the Worlds and the Olympics, I don’t think anything could phase me anymore!
It was my first time at a ‘Games’ where we sailors weren’t the only athletes in a satellite village. In our Pan Am Village in Puerto Vallarta, we had the beach volleyballers, the open-water swimmers and the triathletes. The best was befriending the other Canadian athletes; sharing, comparing and motivating each other through our stories — all built on tenaciousness and hard work and fun.
On Monday morning before most of us Canadians flew back home, some of us went to an orphanage in Puerto Vallarta to visit with the kids. The kids were amazing and so happy to see us. And as they could not go to see the Games themselves, they were stoked to have the Games come to them.
We were greeted by their huge smiles and medals that they made for each of us and we spent our time playing with them and giving them pins and getting all stickered up. It was a really fun visit for all and in the end, I did get to fly home with a medal after all.
Now that I am home it’s back to preparing for the Olympic Games, with my key event coming up: the World Championships in Perth early December, which are also my Olympic qualifiers.”
Thanks, Nikola, for keeping the USANA family updated on your adventures. We’ll be cheering you on as you prepare for the Olympics!
The mentioned athlete is either a distributor or dedicated user who has received compensation for her partnership and/or complimentary USANA products.