Bursting with pride | Sue's blog
Published 1 September 2016 (AEDT) | Author Ryan Gregson
The Rio Olympic Games have drawn to a close, but we feel so lucky to have been able to witness some amazing results from Ryan and his girlfriend Genevieve LaCaze.
I left the last blog with Genevieve having qualified for the final of her 5000m and Ryan having qualified for the semi-finals of the 1500m. Ryan’s semi-final was on the 18th August, and it was a very long day for us! We knew that if he didn’t progress through to the final he wouldn’t be happy with his performance. He raced in the evening so we may had a late lunch with a few beers to calm our nerves prior to heading to the track!
Ryan ran an amazing race in the semis, finishing fourth to automatically qualify for the final. We weren’t able to catch up with him after the race as he had to cool down and head into an ice bath and massage, but we were able to talk to him, and he was elated. Qualifying for the final was a huge achievement, with no Australian male having made an Olympic 1500m final in 40 years.
The following day Genevieve raced her 5000m final, and what a race that was! It was the first time we have had an Australian female through to the final, and we had not one but three Australian’s qualify! All of the Aussie girls finished with either a season’s best or personal best time, which is a huge achievement for female distance running. Genevieve came 12th with a new PB, which remarkably was her 14th PB for the year. The girl is on fire!
Ryan’s final was on the next day. We were feeling a lot more relaxed however, as he had already achieved his goal of making it through to the final and anything else would be a bonus. Ryan was the first track event for the evening so the waiting was soon over. Watching him on the start line was such a proud event for me as a mother, and reminiscing about it still brings tears to my eyes. The race did not pan out the way Ryan had expected, it was the slowest 1500m Olympic final since 1932. The slow, tactical race didn’t suit Ryan, as he was boxed in and had to exert a lot of effort to try and overtake around the outside. He flew home to finish 9th of 15 finalists, which we think was amazing, but Ryan felt that he could do better. This has left him with a burning desire to continue to push himself to achieve even more in the years to come, with his sights set on Tokyo 2020.
Unfortunately there were no closing ceremony celebrations for Ryan and Geneveive, as they were on a flight back to London by then to get ready for their next races in Europe.
We had such an amazing time in Rio, and are so happy we were able to witness some amazing Aussie athletic performances on the track, field and road. There may not have been many medals, but there were countless PBs and finalists. Overall I think that the Athletics team was outstanding!
We have since left Rio and have been holidaying in Argentina and Chile, and are having an amazing time. We have had the benefit of being able to see many parts of the world thanks to Ryan’s racing.
The season has continued for Ryan and Geneveive, with both racing in the Paris Diamond League last Saturday. Ryan raced in the 3000m and produced a 4 sec PB, and Geneveive competed in the 3000m Steeplechase and finished with a massive PB and a new Australian record!
The journey continue and I can’t wait!