Rosie MacLennan stole our hearts once again as she won gold in Rio, becoming the first Canadian athlete to defend gold at the Summer Olympic games. MacLennan recently penned an emotional thank you note addressed to all Canadians for the support throughout the years:
The Olympics have come to a close and my hope is that the spirit and the energy of the Games will live on. The Olympics are an incredible celebration of humanity where 207 countries gather in one place, living as one community, share meals under the same roof and have one shared vision and idea: the pursuit of excellence.
The Opening Ceremony inspired a dream when I was a child. Watching Team Canada march into a stadium was a magical experience. As my parents shared the stories of the athletes, that dream changed to a goal.
Leading the team into the Opening Ceremony was incredible. There was a moment just before entering the stadium where the entire team sang our national anthem then chanted “Canada” at the top of our lungs.
That is the moment so many dreams come true and we’re united as one team for the first time. That is a memory I will cherish forever.
The day before my competition, I was getting waves of nerves. I don’t mind nerves; I try to embrace them and remind myself I have that feeling because my heart is fully vested. The day before competition, all 16 competitors train on the competition equipment during the same time block.
There was a moment between my turns where I looked around, seeing all of these amazing women from around the world, training together under the Olympic Rings. In that moment, I was filled with pure joy.
I was so happy to be here. I was so happy to be training with the other athletes. It also didn’t hurt that my training was the best one I had had yet.
Waking up on the day of competition is a funny feeling. You leave your room knowing that this is the day you have been building to for the last four years. What that day holds is uncertain but you know you will come back that night and something will have happened.
While the nerves stayed with me, I held to that joy I experienced the day before and knew that, no matter what happened, I felt fulfilled and that I had done everything in my power to be at my best.
I was proud of my journey and to me that’s more important than anything. I also knew that, no matter what happened that day, my family would love and support me. Those two things gave me strength, calm and peace of mind.
“We are grateful to be from a country that allows us to pursue our passion. We are grateful to represent a beautiful country with good values” – Rosie MacLennan
Being a part of Team Canada is such an honour and privilege. Over the past 16 days, these incredible humans have given their hearts and souls on the field of play, pushing themselves to the limits of what is humanly possible.
These last 16 days, we’ve had the honour of sharing our love for our sports with the world. We have shared our journeys and Canada received them with open hearts.
There has been a common theme in conversations I have had with my fellow athletes: gratitude. We are grateful to be from a country that allows us to pursue our passion. We are grateful to represent a beautiful country with good values. We are grateful for the support that we receive. Mostly, we are grateful that we have a chance to live out our dreams and to maybe spark a few dreams back home.
Over the past 16 days, the 313 athletes from Canada and athletes globally have inspired Canadians to experience every range of human emotion. And that is powerful.
If you’ve been moved or inspired by your team, keep the momentum going! Take your kids outside and play. Volunteer for local sporting programs or competitions. If you’re in a position to be able to, donate to help someone have the opportunity experience sport and pursue a dream.
Canada, you watched us and lived this journey with us. Thank you for cheering on Team Canada!