Wednesday, 24 February 2010. The day that Heather Moyse won Olympic gold in the two-man bobsleigh in Vancouver with driver Kaillie Humphries. Her life has been a whirlwind since, particularly as she makes the transition back to rugby with her goal to make Canada's squad for Women's Rugby World Cup 2010 in England.
Total Rugby Radio caught up with Moyse at a Canada women's training camp last week with her former teammate Meghan Mutrie putting the questions to her about that Olympic success, handling the fame since that night, making the transition back to rugby, Canada's potential for the World Cup and whether she'll be around in 2016 to try to complete an Olympic double when Rugby Sevens makes its debut in Rio de Janeiro.
I definitely don't think it has changed who I am as a person and I think anyone who knows me can say that, but it has definitely changed the schedule of my life! I am being flown coast to coast to do public speaking for different events, from charities to corporate, annual general meetings to fundraisers and that stuff is pretty exciting.
Heather Moyse - On winning Bobsleigh Olympic Gold >> (6:40)
Heather Moyse - On returning to Canada's Rugby team >> (3:20)
It is stuff that I enjoyed before but now it is kind of coming in volume and it is turning into a little bit more of a career. The challenge this summer is balancing that with training for rugby, so that will be another challenge on the board.
Initially those first couple of days afterwards was just media, then it was kind of the end of the Games, then it has just been the welcome at home when I went back to Prince Edward Island and then a reception in Toronto.
It has been a bit of a whirlwind, all these events I am enjoying doing, but right now I am honestly just trying to keep my head above water and make sure that it is not affecting my training. It has been hard to find time to even relax and to get down-time to kind of absorb or even enjoy what we have accomplished so far.
I was actually recruited to bobsleigh by a former track coach, not of mine but one against whose team we competed. They kind of recruit bigger sprinters, ones that have power in their legs, or triple jumpers or long jumpers where they get that real power or running backs and stuff like that.
Reliving the run
For me it was based on my track background but he also knew that I played rugby so kind of knew that I wasn't what some people call stereotypical track athletes, where the only equipment they bring is spikes to the track. I wouldn't mind getting jostled around in the back of the sled and I could handle a bit of the contact.
At the back of the sled, as a brakeman (the person responsible for providing the impetus at the start and slowing the sled down) - well most of the brakemen that I know of actually memorise the corners of the track.
We actually have to know where we are at all times, partly just so that we are not getting tossed around back there so that we are kind of stiff and anticipating the corners. That doesn't mean we lean into the corners, it just means that we know how to brace ourselves so our head doesn't slam against the wall.
Really we are kind of going through the corners with our drivers and we have gone down enough times with our drivers to know what a good corner feels like, what a bad corner feels like and whether there is a fishtale (skid), whether we hit a wall that we weren't supposed to, so usually in training runs you are going through, trying to remember the things that have maybe gone right or gone wrong to be able to go over that out loud with our drivers at the bottom.
Kaillie and I developed a great relationship, so as soon as we were at the bottom, I would be like how was the run, even though maybe I knew how it had went or how it didn't go, but I would just ask her and she would start going through all the corner.
If I remembered something that she didn't I would say ok, you know what happened out of seven or what happened on the straightaway or stuff like that. And she would go oh gosh and that would came back from memory and we would go through the whole thing again, she would be like I need to do this, now I need to do this, so it was good talking it through.
Talking in my own head
The race is four different heats so mostly the training is done, you just still kind of remember corners because it is four races, you still have to improve from one to the next. It is kind of the same thing, but there is a little more excitement, it is like good job Kaillie, if you feel a transition it is like good job, good job, it is not just ok check.
Then you feel just fast, you are look good job, good job, yes, yes, yes, faster Kaillie faster. You feel it and if you feel a skid you are like ok, come on Kaillie hold it together, don't fall back, don't fall back, ok good job, good transition and it is constantly like an internal dialogue.
Obviously I am never speaking out last because if Kaillie actually listened to what I am saying she is not focusing, so it is just internal dialogue and pretty much talking to her but in my own head.
Being an Olympian, like just that title of being an Olympian or even pursuing one of the sports to go to the Games never really (appealed to me growing up). I am more of an immediate person, like what is my goal this summer, or what's my goal this week or what's my goal, like a four-year degree.
Maybe it's because I didn't grow up in a place where people around me were training for the Olympics, so different than if you grew up in Montreal or Calgary or even Vancouver where you have got high elite athletes training specifically for the Olympics and you can get excited about that and kind of set your sights on that.
I am sure when I was younger, when the Olympics was on the TV, I probably said at one point 'oh I am going to go to the Olympics' - for what I don't know - but then the next day I was probably saying I was going to be a photographer and the next day I was going to be a doctor. It wasn't really like a far off goal that I set my sights on, it has just happened really fast.
Dealing with the fame
I've been asked how I deal with the fame of the Olympic gold medal? Maybe because I don't consider it fame, like there is a little bit more attention because this particular year it happened to be an Olympic year and we happened to do very well in that particular race.
I don't know my family helps keep me grounded. I think that I am really excited, Kaillie and I were really excited to win the race but people are often amazed by how I can hand my medal over to people and say sure put it on, you know, see what it feels like so you will know when you get your own, all that stuff and to me I think the medal was won for Canada.
I am just excited that we won the race, but I am excited that we won the race because it was a race, not because it was an Olympic race. I am a competitor, I just want to win whatever I am competing in and so for me I think we treated it just like any other race and that is how we were able to do well in it.
I don't know about celebrity or fame status, I think people who know me will come up and are really, really excited about it and initially right after the Games I was recognised quite a bit and in PEI (Prince Edward Island) it might be a little bit different because I am a little more recognisable in a smaller place.
I am not someone who is stopped on the side of the streets in Toronto or even in Calgary or Vancouver or any of those places that I go now. Some people might be 'what they are not recognising me anymore', but to me it is just that I am kind of back to regular life again.
In part two, Moyse will reveal the difficulties she faces making the transition from bobsleigh back to rugby, highlighting the similarities in terms of training but also the differences.