Jayhawks in Rio: How does it feel?

Posted on Aug 12, 2016 in Alumni News, News, and Sports

Photo by Danny Owens via @a_geubelle

The following post was written by Andrea Geubelle, d’14, shortly after qualifying for her first Olympic team. Geubelle will compete for Team USA in the triple jump Saturday at the Olympics in Rio (finals are Sunday). In her own words, she takes KU alumni on the journey of a lifetime by describing what it is like to be an Olympian.

Are there words?

I have been thinking hard about how to be honest with the question “how does it feel.” First I have to say how honored and thankful I am, don’t think twice about that. But as time passes I continue to feel a whirlwind of emotions. Tears flood down my face right now, of happiness right? For the most part yes. But the last 5 days I have gotten to live “normal.” Our lives often get glorified. We don’t work a 9-5, we get to work out everyday and travel the world.

But after July 7th, the day I had trained for for the last 10 years came to a close I was finally able to take a deep breath.

My life along with many others has been dedicated to the sport and a roller coaster ride. From success to injury, rehab to heartbreak and all over again. I can’t speak for others, but what you see on TV and social media is a slight glimpse, you see sheer joy. You don’t see the mental break down after a bad workout, the guilt after putting the wrong food into your body or shortage of sleep after a night out with friends, the nauseating stress that come in the days building up, and the fear of failure if competition doesn’t go as planned. My heart breaks because I have come up just short, like others did, but I know they are strong and will be back better than ever in short time. I envy their strength. The raw emotions are real.

So no matter the athlete, respect the journey, their stories and paths are gold.

I hope you get to know these amazing humans a little deeper, they aren’t “just athletes.” No matter the age or when they once were, this sport is a process and a commitment, and I am honored to have friends (they feel like family) who have paved the way, lifted me when I was down, and knew exactly what to say to keep me going. Sometimes just a simple hug, quick good luck or a 5-hour lunch date.

This adventure has been a long one, and well worth it. Thank you for those who stuck it out and believed in my journey, both athletes and spectators. I’m excited to see what the future holds.

–Andrea Geubelle

Photo by Danny Owens via @a_geubelle. Used with permission.

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