Even Olympic Athletes Have Emotional Highs and Lows

In Recognition and Engagement by csistars

Phil Brown

Even Olympic Athletes Have Emotional Highs and Lows

Where to start? I’ll be honest, I’ve had an extremely difficult time getting words on paper for this blog. The last couple months have been an emotional rollercoaster, to say the least.

Let’s Start with the Highs

Olympic team

Being nominated to compete for Canada at the Olympics in Korea, spending time in the leader box on the second run of my Slalom race, and watching The Arkells perform at Canada House while celebrating the completion of the Games with my Canadian teammates, are just a few of the highs.

Now for the Lows

It’s not uncommon for athletes to feel low after experiencing the incredible high of being part of an Olympic Games. I felt this along with a sense of underperforming and not meeting the goals I set for myself.

This emotional roller coaster hit breakneck speed shortly after the Olympics when an unfortunate injury upon my return to Canada sidelined me for the rest of the season.

During the Nik Zoricic Foundation’s Ski4 Nik Day, I had an awkward and very slow motion crash that twisted my knee. I immediately knew something was wrong and my season had likely come to an early end. Life changes pretty fast in these situations. Instead of boarding a flight to Calgary for the final races of the season, I was making daily doctor visits. Ten days later I was in surgery to repair a torn MCL and Lateral Meniscus. And so my rehab began.

Phil Brown in a hospital

The Mental Battle

Phil Brown

Anyone who has ever been through an injury knows the mental battle is equally or more difficult than the physical struggle. Not to mention the time commitment required for the initial phase of post-op recovery. Hence my difficulty finding the time and mental space to feel confident enough to share these words.

It wouldn’t be fair for me to say there haven’t been some dark days throughout this process but I am fortunate enough to be surrounded by incredible family, friends and therapists to help me stay positive on the difficult days.

Moving Forward

I’d be lying to say I accomplished my goals and skied to my expectations at the Games. I didn’t and that’s the reality for 90% of Olympians who finish outside the medals.

That being said, the placing you see on paper isn’t always reflective of an athlete’s performance or how he/she feels about it. To describe it in the most Canadian way, I’d compare my performance to a hockey player who worked hard, played the way his coach asked, but didn’t score any goals or assists. The media and general fans won’t often take notice of this athlete because he didn’t show up on the score sheet. Yet the athlete is still very proud of his performance because he did what he set out to do and with a couple small breaks he may have been the superstar for that game!

As for the future, my number one priority is getting back to full health and I will continue to chase my dreams on the World Cup Circuit next season!

Phil Brown

A BIG Thanks

#RecognizeYourStars

On an even more positive note, with the help of many athletes and fans, CSI STARS successfully launched the “#RecognizeYourStars” social media campaign to support the Nik Zoricic Foundation. I am absolutely thrilled with the online participation! $2300 was raised for the Foundation this season… amounting to 150m of safety netting for skiers across the country!!

The Nik Zoricic Foundation and their initiatives will always will be a foundation I choose to support. By providing safety equipment that is up to standards they are eliminating some of the risk associated with ski racing – allowing athletes to feel comfortable in training and competition environments.

A HUGE THANK YOU to CSI STARS and Project X for their donation and to my fellow competitors for joining in the #RecognizeYourStars Challenge. Stay tuned for an even bigger splash and donation next year!

Thanks for reading another edition of my blog series! More to come…

Author: Phil Brown

Phil Brown
Phil Brown is a member of the Canadian Alpine Ski Team and a monthly contributor to the CSI STARS blog. Learn more about Phil and his #RecognizeYourStars Challenge here or at www.skifastphil.com