It hasn’t quite sunk in yet that she will be competing for Canada in the 2012 London Olympic Summer Games.
But emotions are likely to run high, she believes, once the games actually begin.
Brianne Theisen, 23, qualified to compete for Canada at the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Canadian Olympic trials in Calgary on June 28.
She finished second in the heptathlon with a personal-best score of 6,393 points.
The heptathlon is a track and field combined events contest made up of seven events — 100m hurdles, high jump, shot put, 200m dash, long jump, javelin and 800m run.
The Journal caught up with Theisen this week as she was flying to Germany. Here’s what she said about the experience in her own words.
Journal: How did you feel going into the Olympic Trials? Were you ready? Nervous at all?
Brianne Theisen: “Since I had just come off of my second heptathlon at the NCAA Championships two weeks prior, we had spent the time leading up to the Olympic Trials heptathlon trying to recover as quickly as possible. Thankfully, that recovery went well and I was feeling good before the competition.
Our goal for the Olympic Trials was to get top three (because that is all I needed to do to make the Olympic team). My coach reminded me numerous times that there were going to be times during the competition where my competitive side would kick in and want to compete against the other athletes, but (he asked me) to remember that the Olympics are much more important and that we want to do the bare minimum at the trials and try to conserve as much energy as we can for the Olympics.
“I was a little bit nervous, but not in the same way as other meets that I do. Usually I’m nervous because I want to beat all the other competitors, and this meet I was more nervous that I was going to screw up; fall in the hurdles, foul all my throws in shot put, etc. I had worked so hard this year to get to that point and I didn’t want to screw up my Olympic chances at this meet.”
J: Are you happy with your results after the Trials?
BT: “Like I said, I didn’t go into the meet to get a particular score or to win, I went in to get top three. I was actually surprised I scored as high as I did with putting in as much effort as I did.”
J: What does it feel like to make the Olympic team? Has it sunk in yet?
BT: “I really don’t think it has sunk in yet. I think it will take me actually getting to the Olympic Village before I’ll be able to explain to you what it feels like. Right now, I feel like the same old person that I always feel like.
“So many people say how amazing the Olympics is and how crazy the experience is and you don’t understand that unless you get to experience it. So maybe I’ll have more to say or more emotion about it once I am actually there.”
J: What are your plans between now and London? What is your training schedule like and where will you be doing it?
BT: “I am actually in Marburg, Germany right now. My fiancé, coach and I are here training and doing a meet on July 21st and 22nd. It is a very cool little town, and it gives us a nice, quiet place to train and do our final preparations before London.
“My training schedule right now is a lot different than it is in, let’s say, March. All of the hard work is done and we are not looking to gain anything else at this point in time. We are fine tuning and sharpening all the skills we have acquired so far so that we are ready to peak in London.”
J: When do you head to London? Is your family coming to watch?
BT: “I am heading over to London at the very end of July (not sure of the exact date yet). My family is coming to watch: my mom Kim, my dad Cal, my sister Jessica, my grandparents George and Carol Theisen, my aunt Sandra, and my other aunt Debi.
“ I know I’ve said this a lot, but I don’t think it can be said enough… Thanks to all of Humboldt for all of the support they’ve given me. I couldn’t have even imagined that I’d be given this much support from my hometown. I’ve gotten so many messages and I read and appreciate every single one of them!
“Michelle Bankowski of Diamonds of Detroit has put together a committee to help raise money to support my Olympic Dreams, and the students and staff at St. Dominic School got together in the gym to wish me good luck with a video message! Those things are so touching to me and they help a tremendous amount!”
Editor’s note: Theisen’s fiancé, Ashton Eaton, is a 24-year-old from Bend, Oregon, who broke the world record in the decathlon at the U.S. Olympic trials in June, finishing with 9,039 points to beat Roman Sebrle’s 11-year-old mark by 13 points. He will also be competing in London.