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Sometimes, it’s possible to be proud when things don’t go quite right.

Wearing the green and gold and representing Australia (as the sport of triathlon made its Paralympic debut) is something I have dreamed of for a long time. And the thing about dreams, is you’ve already seen how they’re going to play out.

Or, how you were expecting them to play out.

Success is sweet. Everyone knows that.

But it’s when things are a little tougher that you really learn the most valuable lessons about your sport, and about yourself.

It’s already been a few weeks since race, and there’s a lot of things that continue to run through my mind. The most prominent being a message someone told me when I first got into the sport: “What matters is not where you place, but how you race.”

On the day – I had a strong swim and was leading out of T1.

On the bike, my power output evaporated. Something wasn’t right with the adductor in my good leg.

As the struggle set in, my mind was hurting. I wanted to give so much more than I had for my country.

As the bike portion of the race wound down, and my leg was flailing, I began to wonder if the upcoming 5km run would actually be a 5km walk.

But giving up was simply not an option.

I still crossed the finish line. And managed to do it while jogging, despite being in a lot of discomfort.

Yes – initially I was disappointed, and was left scratching my head trying to work out why this day had to be a bad one for my triathlon career.

I spent a lot of time asking myself questions and not getting many answers.

The only thing I could come up with initially was, it just wasn’t my day.

But it can always be your day to learn.

To make a bad day count.

I can now say we have been able to discover what went awry for me on the day.

And I am excited that I can do something about it. I can make a bad day count.

I managed to pass on my congratulations in person, but I have to say it publicly as well – Andy J Lewis, is undisputedly the hardest working and fully deserving first Paratriathlon PT2 male gold medallist in history.

The day after my race, I also made sure I was ringside to cheer on the Aussie female Paratriathletes. “We’ve been together for a few years now,” I said as a spectator on the official summary video, “seeing each other through the highs and lows.”

I had just been through one of those ‘lows’.

But seeing my team mates do so well ended my Paralympic racing experience on a ‘high’.

Brant Garvey Pain Face

Brant Garvey

Author Brant Garvey

Paralympian & Professional Speaker

More posts by Brant Garvey

Join the discussion 10 Comments

  • Veronica says:

    Very well said Brant, it was all out of your control on the day, that’s how it goes sometimes.
    Very disappointing for you, but you are over it now and moving on with grace. And as I’ve said before
    Still so proud of you Brant, what an achievement to represent Australia at the Paralympics.

    • Brant Garvey says:

      Thanks Veronica! It is really cool now looking back taking in what an amazing opportunity it was to be there with the best in the world racing in the sport I love for the very first triathlon in the Paralympics.

  • BC says:

    you’re going again..surely?

  • Frank & Lyla Douglas says:

    We Australians are still extremely proud of your efforts. Unfortunately some things are thrown at us from left field of which we have no control. You represented your country on the big stage against the world’s best of which must make you just so proud. The many extreme barriers you worked through and finish shows the high quality of Brant Garvey.
    Fantastic effort Brant and please don’t be hard on yourself. You are a winner in so many aspects both personal and in life.
    All the sincere best for your future endeavours. I’m positive Australia will see and hear a lot of Brant Garvey moving forward. Cheers

  • Simon says:

    Very well said Brant! I am continually impressed by your attitude and thinking … you have such a terrific outlook on life and I’m so proud to call you a friend!

    As the saying goes “You have to fight through some bad days to earn the best days of your life” …

  • Bernie Foley says:

    Well done Brant, that determination shown as a young athlete at Junior Wheelchair Sports many years ago has stayed with you and look forward to hearing your future aspirations and challenges.

  • Bodo Frost says:

    Hi Brant!
    See it that way: You have been the best Aussie in the Triathlon at the Paralympics. Coming in 10th best of all the contestant from all over the world is a huge achievement. The most important thing is, you have finished and were part of it. That counts more than any medal. A medal is more like a sweetener for the efforts – for me your result is just awesome! So well done from us!
    And yes, I am sure you will give it another go next time! You are a true champion. Onwards and upwards, mate.

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