Thursday, December 6, 2001 - Perspective
Junior National Team Update

- By: Devon Kershaw

Junior National Team Update

So, it's already November 7th and I am just starting my athlete article which is due tomorrow (of course!). Some may call me a procrastinator and those people are probably partially correct. Oh well, here it goes...

While sitting in front of my computer I think to myself what on earth am I going to write about? The only answer that I could come up with was just a plain ol' athlete update. I know it is not as exciting as reading about losing sleep because of big dreams or reading about how Fisher skis are the best skis in the entire universe, but I feel as though it still might be worth reading.

As some of readers know, I have had a rough year. Ok, that is an understatement. My year has been a living nightmare (I am not trying to drum up sympathy for myself, but this is an athlete update so I am just going to tell you what the deal is). As many people know, a fantastic skier Sofie Manarin passed away on June 3rd because she was hit on her bike while training. What people might not know was two things: 1) Sofie was my girlfriend and best friend ever and 2) I was also cycling that day. We decided to cycle apart (because I go too fast, she said) and we picked a route that we knew well. As it turned out, I thought she was going to do the route a certain way and she decided to do it another. That was the last time I saw her. Nearing the end of my ride I saw an ambulance drive away and saw a bike on the road. To my horror, it was Sofie's. It was by far the worst day of my life and it just got worse when at the hospital I and her family were told that she passed away. It was a terrible feeling and since then I have been living in some sort of nightmare.

Well since then, I have been having major troubles sleeping and have been extremely upset. Training has been very hard and everyday has been a struggle. I am not going to get into depth about how hard it has been for me because I realize that it was not just me that lost her, it was the entire ski community. Also, I realize that people all over the world are suffering this same sort of fate. These people all over the world have had to deal with the loss of family, friends etc... It is amazing what people have gone through in their lives and still came out to achieve their goals. Yet, many of these people around the world that have suffered a great loss were helped by friends and family. These people are the support group that is necessary in the healing process.

Personally I would like to thank all my teamates, friends, family and my coach for being there for me. I greatly appreciate all the words of wisdom and support that these people give me. They are the ones that allow me to still joke around, smile and get up in the morning. Thank you all so much.

It is unbelievable what certain people have had to go through during their journey through life. All I can do is dream of the future, and hope that my goals will be achieved. Charles Nadeau was right, dreaming is important and sometimes it does seem to be troublesome, but without these dreams who are we?? It is these dreams that push us to our limits everyday and makes life worth living. So, like every other athlete that competes, I am trying my hardest to achieve my goals. This tragedy is something that all people will meet in their journey called life. Some may quit and give up, yet others like the millions around the world try even harder to achieve their dreams. I hope that I can be one of the millions that achieve their goals, after all now I feel as though I have to achieve them for two. Everybody has goals and dreams that they are very passionate about. That is what is so important; also to be successful you must have the ability to follow your dreams. We must not only follow their dreams, but be able to adapt to anything life throws at us. I believe that the best athletes are the ones that can adapt to anything, for they have a passion for success and are always willing to change for success. They refuse to give up and are driven towards the goal. All I can do is hope that I can find my footing again and get back on track. For as Steve Prefontaine once said, "To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift."

Devon Kershaw
National Junior Team

Devon Kershaw is one of the most talented skiers in Canada. His top results at World Junior Championships last year and his numerous National titles prove that he his talent is limitless. He is now working to overcome a terrible loss in his life, but his strength and positive attitude are brining him through.

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