Just before the start of the Beijing Games, we cycled alongside Canada’s newest Olympic medalist, track cyclist Kelsey Mitchell.
Her gold medal was the final crowning achievement of Canada’s campaign in Tokyo. Anastasia Bucsis, host of the Player’s Own Voice podcast, believes Olympians, regardless of winter or summer specialization, can always learn from each other. So she went to Mitchell for information and advice on how to get into the medal hunt.
Mitchell’s journey to the top took an unusual course. She had barely pedaled a bike two years before Tokyo when the track team brought her into the fold, straight out of a trial at the RBC training ground. There was certainly no 10-year master plan to look into.
Mitchell, like many athletes, is proof that visualization works. In fact, she couldn’t help it, vivid images of being awarded the gold medal played in her mind at all times of the day and night. She almost had to force herself not to visualize.
Mitchell also confides that the oldest advice in the game really works for her: Trust the process. Trust your training. Get the job done and be confident in your build. That way, when life throws curve balls, like: a week before his Olympic races, Mitchell caught a gnarly cold, an athlete doesn’t need to panic. The cough will stop, the runny nose will stop, and a lifetime – or at least a few years – of hard work will take over from there.
Like CBC Sports’ Player’s Own Voice essay series, the POV podcast allows athletes to talk to Canadians about issues from a personal perspective. Mitchell also wrote a beautiful essay about his seemingly sudden arrival on the world stage.
A transcript is available for our hearing impaired audience. To listen to Kelsey Mitchell or any of the guests from previous episodes, and other Canadian athletes throughout the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, head over to CBC Listen – or wherever you get your podcasts.