Lisa Darmanin

Reflections on Rio

Lisa Darmanin
Reflections on Rio

Everyone tries to prepare you for the Olympics. I had received advice from coaches, staff and past medalists. Every story I was told was so valuable but it can’t prepare you for the experience of an Olympic Games. There is something so unique about the event and you can't depict it in a sentence, you have to live it. The Olympics had this amazing tense vibe where there was so much energy in the atmosphere, you could feel every element just step up a notch; the security, the facilities, the equipment, the athletes, the media, the pressure, the speed. The key for me was to embrace the energy and to stay cool. 

The Olympics was what I expected and much more. I expected it to be thrilling. In the weeks leading up it felt like we were watching a movie; the climax was right around the corner and all the athletes were waiting in anticipation to see how the movie would end. The competition felt like a blur. Rio was amazing, the racing was amazing, the sportsmanship was incredible and looking back on that crazy week of racing, it was so much fun! 

I was happy with my performance on the water and especially proud of how Jason and I handled the pressure so well at our first Olympics. I never thought we would be so calm and everything would run so smoothly. Two days out from the Games I started to panic, I questioned why I was feeling so calm, but this calmness was a product of our preparation. All those hours on and off the water had led to this moment and we were ready to race. The rest was a rollercoaster of racing that went so fast. I’m not going to lie we made a few mistakes that I play over and over again in my head, but that’s racing and in a sail boat race it’s the one that makes the least mistakes that wins. It’s hard not to beat yourself up about those errors but for me now, I’m just trying to take those lessons and focus on everything I did right. I am truly happy with Silver, but I was really going for Gold, so it’s hard not to be a little disappointed when you come within one point of your dream. 

I didn’t realise how much of a toll the last four years took on me. I put everything into it and I’m exhausted. For me the next three months is some relaxation, sailing for fun, playing soccer, Ultimate Frisbee, rock climbing, and yoga; all things staying fit and active. It’s all about recharging the batteries so come 2017 I’m ready to fire and can push towards Tokyo 2020 to turn Silver into Gold. 

An Australian competitive sailor. Competed at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, in the mixed Nacra 17 winning a Silver medal.