Once upon a time, I had a dream of being an Olympian. As a competitive able-bodied athlete, I held on to that dream for many years. However, as I grew older, I realized that my Olympic dreams were slipping out of reach. Then, unexpectedly, a car accident changed the course of my life. The accident took the life of my dearest friend and robbed me of my athleticism; or so I thought. With the help and support of my family, friends, doctors, therapists, prosthetists, coaches, teammates and sponsors I regained my competitive athletic lifestyle. What’s even more amazing, I began dreaming of the Paralympics.
I earned my place on the 2012 Paralympic Cycling Team and solidified my position by earning a silver medal in the C4 Women’s Individual 3k Pursuit.
During the Qualification Round, I rode in the first heat against South African Roxy Burns. In training, I had beaten the World Record, so going into competition I had high expectations. When the gates opened, I went out fast! I lapped the South African and tried to hold on to speed as I completed the 3k Pursuit. I faded at the end yet still managed to set a new Paralympic Record. Then I had to wait for the other competitors to post their times; it was a nerve racking!! Only one rider posted a faster time, Australian Susan Powell. She had an excellent ride, broke my Paralympic Record and set a new World Record. With that, the final Gold/Silver Medal matchup was set; Megan Fisher vs. Susan Powell.
Susan and I have been going back a forth for a couple years now. We seem to be fairly evenly matched. I knew that the race for gold would be tight! Historically on the track, Susan starts slower than me and finishes faster. Still, my coach reminded me that my times in training were still faster than her new World Record. Armed with that information, I went into the start gate with confidence.
I had a decent start and quickly settled into my bike. As predicted, I led the first half of the race. It was great hearing the crowd roar! Unfortunately, I faded with 5 laps to go. Susan made up time and then gained time. My head kept telling my body to suffer more and my legs gave every ounce of power they had. At the finish, Susan crossed the line approximately a second and a half ahead of me.
While I wish I could have won the gold, I am pleased knowing that I gave my best. I earned the second medal for Team USA of these Paralympic Games and their first silver medal. It is an honor to be a part of Team USA. I still have more racing to do here in London and I have my sights set on a gold medal. Look out World.
Images by Brian Hodes from 9-1-2012