SOCHI, Russia - Maybe it was the realization that on this week, perhaps the most important of her career, she just didn’t have her best stuff that had Brittany Schussler shaking a bit and trying to hold on to the increasingly loose grip she had on her emotions.
I wish I could do better for Canada. For my team and for myself. But I can’t go back and change it. It’s the Olympics.”
Schussler is a world class athlete, a Canadian speed skating champion and a strong confident woman. But minutes after skating her last individual race at these Olympics, the 28-year-old Winnipegger looked drained and mournful.
Schussler skated to a 26th place finish in the women’s 1,500 metre on Sunday turning in a time of 2:00.65. Jorien ter Mors of the Netherlands finished close to seven seconds faster with a gold medal time of .1:53.51
"I did what I could. I started well and I had the splits I wanted. I hit the wall in that last lap. It’s sad and it’s hard. But that’s sports," said Schussler. "I’m really disappointed. That third place spot was wide open and on the right day I’m capable of that but I wasn’t today. You don’t get these chances back."
Schussler has struggled all Olympics and has been well off the podium in all three of her races the 3,000 metre, 1,000 metre and finally Sunday’s 1,000 metre. She is a member of Canada’s pursuit team and has one more chance at a medal.
"I’ve been struggling since I got here. I don’t know why. I wish I could do better for Canada. For my team and for myself. But I can’t go back and change it. It’s the Olympics," said Schussler. "I’m not injured. I’m fine. I’m just not as strong as I wish I was."