Tuesday, July 22, 2008

McMahon is the man

Imagine if your dream was to make it to the Olympics - you worked relentlessly for years, poured everything you had into being the best athlete you could be - ate right, slept right, trained hard, raced hard, made all the sacrifices to make it to the Big Show.

Brent McMahon did just that (and many other things I'm sure), he worked hard enough to be the third ranked triathlete in Canada when the team selections were made. There were three spots on the team but he wasn't selected. Nevermind the controversy, and what is right and wrong about the decision - just consider the level of disappointment and frustration he must have felt.

Many athletes would have taken the rest of the year off, retired, slacked off, whatever.... Not Brent. Last weekend he raced in New York in the Nautica NYC Triathlon - a big event with significant prize money and a star-studded elite field. He raced hard and was the only one to stay with Greg Bennett (AUS) on the bike. He held on in second place throughout the run until 10 metres from the finish line he collapsed from the heat and the effort. He managed to get up and crawl across the line for 5th place.

The amazing part for me is not the crawling across the line.... I think anyone would try to do that in the same position. The part I think is awesome is that he pushed so hard and raced with such fury only weeks after such a huge disappointment. Made me proud to be a Canadian triathlete.

I'm sure he isn't reading but way to go Brent!

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Ri said...

McMahon may not have a medal on his chest or a pass to the olympics, but this guy is the epitome of the word 'athlete'.

I hate sports (prepare for virtual stoning), but guys like McMahon aren't just competitors, they're powerful embodiments of the human experience. They are the real heros.

MJ said...

How can you hate sports when there are stories like this?

Graham said...

Brent is my brother (biological, not just a figure of speech) and I greatly appreciate what you have said about him here (all of you). Brent's biggest assets are his heart and head. He loves the sport and his head is always in the race no matter what's gone on or going on.

We were all sorely disappointed and heartbroken that he didn't make the Olympic team (their loss, in my opinion), but what we saw in the Nautica race is just simply Brent...perseverant, courageous, driven, and tough as nails. I am confident we'll see more of this grit and determination in the remainder of this season as he branches into new kinds of racing and goes back to some racing he hasn't done in a while. Again, Brent's desire to explore new kinds of racing is further testament to his passion for the sport and to his strength of character.

I know I can speak for myself and for my parents when I say that we are very very proud of Brent and how true we believe your words to be. Thank you again for your encouraging comments.

MJ said...

Hi Graham,

It was my pleasure.... I think that Brent's Olympic "setback" could end up being a blessing. He seems like the kind of guy that will find a well of motivation even deeper than he had already tapped. I love guys like that.... the fighters.

Thanks for reading! I wish you all the best,