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All Good Days

Firstly this is a small overview of what were some of the best days of my ski life! I had a dream as a kid to ski in the Olympics and accomplishing that was insane for me! To have a guiding opportunity with one of the greatest para skiers of all time was more than I could ever have dreamed of. Then to find my self in the thick of a historical moment, just made the whole thing kinda mind-blowing. 

After the Olympics, I had a week in Japan to regroup and get ready for round two. Luckily we got some time to regroup at a fantastic hotel with an onsen and some great skiing. Once regrouped it was time to head back to Korea for more games.

Soon after arriving we learned that Brian would be the flag bearer! I was stoked to walk in and give my best Korean happy wave! Needless to say the games started in a pretty insane way!

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After a bit of media, it was time to get down to business, the first race is always a little nerve-wracking as you don't really know how everyone is feeling. I also had many things to learn about guiding and what worked best for Brian. The twenty kilometer was the first race and after ten kilometers Gnish took a little rest and I was put in for a couple kilometers to then pass off to Gnish who finished off the race to take our first gold! 

The feeling of being apart of a team is not something that you experience often in cross country skiing and I was so stoked to watch them cross the finish line and share that win with them was a pretty incredible feeling! The whole day I had just been doing my usual routine and didn't really realize that Brian had just made history with his gold medal count! I was actually glad to have learned of that after as I just was thinking of it and the pressure that can bring. 

The whole Para nordic team had started strong with a bunch of medals in biathlon and cross country, the next race for me was the Sprint race. This was the race that I had kinda been "brought in for" and was one of the harder races for Brian so I was feeling a little nervous. After a slight mistake in the qualifier, I was back to my normal self. Finishing first was a huge relief I couldn't believe that we had put that one together. So stoked we finished off the last few races with another gold and a bronze.  

The Paralympics was a truly incredible experience, it was insane to see the hard work all these athletes had put in come together in such a grand way and to watch the momentum that it gave each-other to push harder than before. The atmosphere was truly something special and something I will never forget being a part of.   

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It is hard to describe the mental states I went though the past couple months. From being told that I didn't make the team to making the Olympic team, feeling like I was getting sick then coming back to some of the better races of my life, to wanting more to getting more the roller coaster has been real.

It feels cliche but if you have a dream you can make it happen. It will not be easy, you will have to work hard and work smart but it is doable if you truly believe. The past couple years I have worked several jobs and trained. There were days I woke up and wondered if it was worth it and if the hard work would pay off or if I was just blowing money on something that I didnt have in me. If it would actually make enough money to support me. When I fell in love with training though I knew I was doing the right thing. So fall in love with the process dreamers, when you do you will have all good days! :)

It is weird to be in love with a sport so fully I am still a little in shock as I had been mentally prepared to not even make the Olympics. Now I am home with a gold medal a ton of amazing memories and the biggest smile I have ever had! 

 The sprint gold Medal and my relay bib

The sprint gold Medal and my relay bib

People always ask me why I stayed in Canada and I often say skiing but the truth is I love the people. Thank you, everyone, you have been amazing to me the past eight years. I will never forget how much you have all done for me and I look forward to giving back to everyone who has done so much! 

Keep Smiling,

Russell Kennedy

 

 

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