Through the adidas “In Their Words” series, the global sportswear brand have been catching up with athletes that are leading their sports, to discuss their experience taking part in the games that almost didn’t happen.
In this latest adidas piece, wife and husband Olympians, Runner Shaunae Miller-Uibo and Decathlete Maicel Uibo, talk through training together and supporting each other, as well as how the pandemic has affected their routines.
You’re in a unique situation where you have each other at the Olympics, how does it feel to have that support system?
Shaunae: It was great. Every day we are next to each other, we go to practice at the same time, we come home at the same time, and I feel like having the same routine, makes us champs, makes it so much easier, and now we’re putting down marks that count.
So, I feel like it keeps everything a lot more relaxed and we’re just kind of in the same element that we would be at home, just at a different location.
Shaunae, you’ve mentioned going into the finals with injuries and hurdles, how do you overcome that kind of barriers and hurdles and any tips for people also looking to overcome them?
Shaunae: We’ve been really going through it at these championships. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced so many aches and pains at a championship before, eventually we get it all worked out before we come, but literally each day it was something new with this, and for us it was the team keeping me sane, having my husband there, having my coach there, and them just talking to me and telling me to not dwell on it, and keep my mind on the goal, which was getting out there and competing well.
You crossed the finish line ahead of everyone else, how aware were you of where you were?
Shaunae: I actually wasn’t quite aware of where I was at with the other girls, for me it was just about focusing on myself and making sure that I wasn’t feeling any pain and getting through it as safely as we could.
With about 50 more meters to go I remember looking at the scoreboard and I kind of saw that I was a lot ahead and from there on I was just like, okay we got the race, let’s just get it to the line. It went well, I came out with a new national record, a new personal best, to get all that with what we were going through meant a lot.
And Maicel where were you watching from?
Maicel: I was exactly where she wanted me to be, which is a little past the finish the line, so that hopefully after the race we could celebrate together for a brief moment.
Last year was an unusual and challenging one for many athletes and people, how has your experience been? Did the extra year add to excitement or nerves?
Maicel: We still trained all the way through, we did have to go the park for about five weeks, and then rest of the year we still trained and competed as much as we could, locally, I feel like the biggest difference was, it was really hard to get physio therapy and that type of care, and that may have eventually left its mark, starting to feel little knicks here and there, but as far as training goes, we tried to make the best of it, we built a little garage gym for us, that’s where we did the gym work.
Can you talk a little about the crew and team behind you and supporting you in your journey?
Maicel: The first step is to be healthy if you want to give yourself a chance to compete well if you’re hurt you can’t even get to the starting line.
Which is why I think a physio is the most important person next to the coach, and then the rest of the supporting staff are extremely important as well to keep your body in check.
What are your plans for when you get home?
Shaunae: I’m done for the season, for now just waiting on my MRI results before starting treatment, just relaxing until coach gives us the call that training starts back up.
For now, going home, going to The Bahamas, eating, and celebrating. And then we have to go to Estonia and celebrate with Maicel’s family.
Do you have any advice for the next generation of athletes out there?
Shaunae: I just tell to believe in yourself, I think that’s one of the most important things, don’t bring any self-doubt.
Sometimes we get this in our head because we want to achieve so much, but you must trust in your program and what you’re doing with it.
Don’t ever let someone tell you that you cannot do something, once you set your mind to something go hard at it, keep working hard, and trust me everything is going to fall into place.
Maicel: Exactly what she said, and once you find that something that you really want to do, it feels as if the motivation and everything comes from within, and you don’t need to externally keep searching for it.
If you really love it, you will give your all to it, you’ll learn the ins and outs of it, and it’ll come naturally. Just find whatever you love and go hard at it. Go all in.