2016 Olympic Trials Results
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Shalaya Kipp Oiselle
In Her Words
(listen to Shalaya’s full audio below)
“All right. So honestly, when I saw this photo, I shut my computer and I left the room.
That was my initial reaction.
I guess it was probably since 2012, since the 2012 Olympics. Even up to the bell lap that night I like was still holding on to this belief that I could make my second Olympic team. Right like it’s the steeplechase and anything can still happen. But instead, I finished fourth. It was nine and a half minutes.
You know, you wait four years for nine and a half minutes and then it’s like my fate sealed. I will I will not be going to Rio. And I think that’s kind of what you’re seeing in the face of this girl in the photo. I’m guessing this photo is from the media tent. I don’t really remember.
I do remember wanting to get out of there as fast as I could and get through drug testing because the idea of having to sit in drug testing with the three women that I just need the Olympic team sounded absolutely terrible like they’re going to be having the night of their lives.
And here I am, this big raincloud so I remember thinking, “Just get through there as fast as you can and go pee and get out of here.”
I also remember being angry at myself that night, because I had ran a good race and having ran a good race made me happy. I’d ran a PR, I ran really smart, but I didn’t make the Olympic team and the goal was to make the Olympic team.
So I was like, “Don’t be happy that you did well, like you ultimately failed.”
You’ve waited four years for this race and you did your best. You ran a very good race. And that wasn’t good enough. Like you are now walking away empty handed.
Yea, so I guess I see this girl now and like part of me still wanted to cry for her. I guess I guess that’s partially because I listen to some of the other athletes reflections in their photos. And a lot of the people talk about, you know, making an Olympic team open so many doors for them.
But unfortunately, the other side of the coin is true. If you were an Olympian and now you don’t remake an Olympic team, those doors start to close for you. And I guess what makes me sad seeing this photo is this girl in the photo didn’t really realize that at the time. She just thinks, you know, I ran my heart out. I didn’t make a team. And she doesn’t realize what’s about to come from the next four years, like.
Contracts end at the end of Olympic years. And if you’re not a new, hot, shiny, flashy athlete, you might not get resigned.
So I guess a lot has changed for me the past four years, in 2016, back when this photo was taken, I took the semester off from my Masters to focus solely on training. I have since then left Boulder, Colorado, and I’ve moved to Vancouver, Canada, to pursue my doctorate degree at the University of British Columbia.
So there has been this shift for me from focusing more on my athletic self to focusing more on my academic self. And part of me wonders if this race that night kind of, you know, helped spur that on. But I do plan to come back and I guess now 2021.
When I look at this photo here. I mean, part of me does feel sad and wants to close the computer, but the other part of me says, I want to show up again and I want to know, you know, I want to want to do it again.
I think it’s still in me.
So. A lot of emotions that happens in this photo. Disappointment, anger, and, you know, if anything, it also helps spur on the fire.”