RIO DE JANEIRO—Last Saturday, University Place resident Andrea Geubelle (left/photo courtesy IAAF/Getty Images) competed in the qualifying round of the women’s triple jump at Estádio Olímpico João Havelange.
While she was obviously disappointed in not qualifying for the finals after jumping 45-8.5 (13.93m), she took the Olympic appearance as a learning experience as she moves forward with her professional track & field career.
paulmerca.blogspot.com caught up with Geubelle in Rio a few days after the competition via email after she took some time with her family, who made the trip from the Tacoma suburb to support her.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The questions for Andrea were written a few hours after last Saturday’s (August 13th) competition.
a) Overall thoughts on your performance? I saw that you said that you were constantly making adjustments during your three jumps today.
I am definitely bummed. My goal coming in was to make finals and I obviously did not do that which is heart breaking for me. But I know that I put my all that I had left out there and have no regrets about my performance. I now know how world meets work and I know what I need to execute and begin to work on more. So I am excited about getting back to training and working on those things!
I was making a lot of adjustments. The track was fast which was great for me, I just wasn't fully using it, which put me all over the place.
b) From a technical standpoint, how pleased were you (or not pleased) with how you jumped?
This year has been tough because I have been coming back from injury. So here at the Olympics I knew I had to just put it all on the track. We have not been able to work super technical because I have been in some discomfort and weakness on my right side. So technically, we have a lot of work to do and this meet just really highlighted that!
c) Please give me your thoughts on how your training went once you got to Rio. I'm assuming that you were able to spend time with Nate (Wilford, the coach of the Flying AJ’s club in Tacoma, who coached her in high school, and as a pro after she moved back home from Lawrence, Kansas) and train as if you were home? Were there any challenges working with Nate, particularly in getting him credentials/tickets to get him where you needed him?
Training was wonderful! The medical staff were top of the line and really helped me get ready! We had a premier training facility and transportation was easy to and from. Super nice and the view was amazing!! Nate didn't arrive till closer to the meet which was my decision. When he arrived we were able to get together and he was able to get credentials so that coaching me was super easy at the meet.
(photo courtesy IAAF/Getty Images)
d) What are your plans for the rest of the Olympics?
The last couple days I spent a lot of time with my family (mom, dad, stepdad, brother) and extended (aunt, uncle and grandpa) and boyfriend Trey and his mom. We got to do a lot of the Rio sight seeing which was wonderful! They are gone now so I plan to catch a lot of the track and field and some other sports! Rio has been wonderful, I'm looking forward to relaxing on the beach as well and indulging in the culture!
When asked about her plans to compete for the rest of the 2016 season, she said that she was going to end it in Rio.
“We really need to get a full training cycle under my belt and start strengthening the weak areas. I'm going to take a little break to heal the little bumps and bruises and then jump back into training!”
e) What are the things that you learned about yourself, and about the whole Olympic experience, that you'll take home and build upon moving forward?
The biggest thing I learned is that I belong here. I have looked up to a lot of these jumpers and really idolized them and maybe sometimes doubted that I could be at the top. But I know that with hard work and dedication to the sport I can improve a lot and really compete with these girls. I gained some confidence and lit a little fire to get back to that level. I've missed it since I've been injured and I'm ready to be back and be a threat on a world level!