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Terwiel will never forget Olympic experience

Elli Terwiel (far right) and the rest of the women's alpine ski team ham it up following the Olympic closing ceremonies in Sochi.
Image Credit: Elli Terwiel
February 27, 2014 - 11:15 AM

KAMLOOPS — As her family watched from the stands Sun Peaks skier Elli Terwiel straddled a gate in the slalom race at the Sochi Winter Olympics last week, earning a 'did not finish' on the run.

While the disappointment on her face was clear to anyone watching the race she said in an email she is walking away proud of her accomplishments and says everyone should be proud of all the Olympians, not just the medallists.

“My mom, dad, brother and boyfriend all made it out to see me compete. I am SO happy they were able to make it because it definitely has felt like a family effort to get me to the Olympics and it was as much a moment for them as for me. It was extremely comforting to see them after my race and it felt great to have the experience together.

The course was well set but the snow conditions were very difficult. It poured rain in the morning and was above zero all day. The course workers did a great job trying to make the race hill as good as possible for our race but with it being so warm… it was a very challenging day!

The course set was quite turny and the snow was very slow. It felt like you always had to make your own speed. The snow was very catchy. I ended up straddling part way down the course and was one of many to not finish the run. Everyone (including myself) was trying to be as close to the gates as possible and push the line to be as fast as possible. No holding back at the Olympics!

I am very happy with the preparation I had going into the Olympics. I felt very prepared on race day and I am happy with how I was skiing in the course prior to my straddle.

The Olympic experience for me was amazing. The ability to participate in such a huge event felt huge. I was able to observe some of the best athletes in the world competing at their best… and able to see why they were successful. I met a ton of Canadian athletes from other sports and felt a real sense of community within the Canadian Athlete Village.

I was able to see many other events and really take in the unique challenges each different sport has. It was extremely exciting to watch my old team mates Georgia Simmerling and Kelsey Serwa compete in the skier cross.

I will take away a real sense of pride in the process I worked on to get to the games. I walk away with an appreciation for the ability to compete at the highest level.

It was also interesting to see how many athletes don’t podium. It seems like nowadays the only thing that matters to the mainstream media is how many medals each country has achieved, I believe that totally undermines the reality of the Olympics. The Olympics is mostly about the ability to participate. To make it a real competition. There were so many AMAZING personal performances that did not end with the athlete making the podium.

The idea that a person should feel terrible for coming fourth (or tenth) IN THE WORLD is crazy. To have a medal at the Olympics is obviously a dream of any athlete however, if an athlete brings their very best on race day and performs to the very best of their ability…that is amazing too. The ability to perform to your best at the Olympics is an amazing thing.

All in all it was an amazing, mind blowing experience I will never forget.”

To contact a reporter for this story, email, call (250)819-3723 or tweet @JennStahn,

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014
InfoTel News Ltd

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