I had just stepped off the cozy bus that had taken us across the Korean countryside, from Seoul to PyeongChang.

I grabbed my taller-than-me ski bag from the bus which was always stuffed heavy with multiple puffy jackets, gloves, poles, ski wax, and other clothing layers, and also picked up my ski boot bag, also similarly stuffed. Every winter athlete needs large and heavy amounts of clothing to first survive conditions that are cold, snowy, icy, or a combination of all three, secondly to compete in these conditions, and thirdly, to try to win a medal.

I then strapped my somehow 30-pound ski boot backpack on and balanced my 45-pound ski bag on my right shoulder, now making me 75 pounds heavier. That weight wasn’t even counting my everyday clothing in my other bags that I somehow had to carry through the three layers of high Olympic security to get to my dorm. I quickly thought back to my track and field days, when all I needed were track spikes, a shirt, and shorts to compete.

My coaches for years had also just messaged me that they wouldn’t be coaching me at the Olympics, adding emotional weight to the physical weight.

Although I was just starting to experience the first few minutes of my lifelong goal, the Winter Olympics, the place I had dreamt of starting at age 7, I began to wonder, during those first few minutes in the Olympic Village, if I should have dreamt instead of competing on the beach rather than the snow, on a sunny track rather than the in chilly mountains, or in a sport that didn’t require to carry almost the weight of another person in equipment to compete.

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