Videos: Diane Jones-Konihowski, Athletics

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Well right from when I was a little girl in elementary school I just did every sport. Phys Ed was my favourite, you know subject and I just I loved doing sports. So I did everything growing up and as I just got older and got into high school I sort of concentrated on two sports and that was volleyball and track and field. And I just felt that at a track meet I didn’t want to sit in the stands a lot so oftentimes I’d compete in ten or eleven events at a time.

There was always a tremendous amount of pressure, but I’d already been on the team for ten years and I’d been through a couple of Olympic Games, Pan American Games, Commonwealth Games and so with each year you just get more confident and, and you just learn what you need to do and, and what you can really eliminate in your life to really stay focused. Because at the end of the day for the athlete it is just staying focused on that goal. And there was a little bit of pressure because I knew I was going to be carrying the baton that held the message to open the Games, which Queen Elizabeth was to open the Games and read that message. And I was the first medal of the Games and the Queen was going to present the first medal. So the script was kind of written so there was a little added pressure around that. You know give the Queen the message to read and then she gives the Gold medal to me. And it all worked out beautiful. The day was perfect for me. I had five personal bests. I won four of the five events and ended up with the number one score in the world.

Athletes just do it because they love it, right, and it’s not about the hardware at the end of the day. It’s really about the performance of the day. And sometimes you know as an athlete you know the performance you do, it could be the best performance of your life and it may only get you fourth place in the world, it may get you a Silver medal on the podium, it may end up you know getting you number one in the world. There’s no guarantee at the end of the day and that’s a bit of a crap shoot for athletes. But they go there and they do their best. So to be acknowledged for what you do and you are announced and chosen as the number one Female Athlete in Canada it’s always an honour, because you know there are so many other really, really good athletes that you’re competing against in so many other sports. So always an honour, always an honour.

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