Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
Minnedosa's Parrott ready to pull out
Overtrained underachiever might skip the 1,500 metres
VANCOUVER -- Kyle Parrott's Olympics may be over -- and sooner than expected.
The Canadian speedskater from Minnedosa told the Free Press Wednesday night that he may bow out of Friday's 1,500 metres.
Turns out the 24-year-old Parrott's surprising qualification for four races in Vancouver may have been his undoing. After finishing 21st in the 500 metres and then 24th in the 1,000 on Wednesday night, Parrott believes he added too much volume to his training leading up to the Vancouver Games and it has backfired.
"I'm not even coming close to the times I've had in the past year," the rookie Olympian admitted. "It's unfortunate."
After all, Parrott never expected to qualify for the 1,500 metres out of the Canadian trials last December, much less the team pursuit. But as a result, he amped up his training schedule to prepare for all three events.
"Before I realized it, I was getting tired from all the laps (training), but it was too late," he said. "I just made myself too tired for all the races here. That was a little naive of me. It just killed me. But hindsight's 20/20, right? That's life and you live with it."
But then the 1,000 metres was a writeoff for all four Canadians who competed Wednesday night at the Richmond Oval. Veteran Denny Morrison, a top-five favourite, placed 13th, and Jeremy Wotherspoon finished 14th. Quebec City's Francois-Olivier Roberge was 20th.
Although Parrott was not a medal contender, the 1,000 was nonetheless his strongest event.
"It's a bit of a bittersweet thing," he conceded. "I mean, I'm here and we have best venue with the best training and the best coaches, the best support staff and the best fans. It's so easy to perform well under those conditions. There's so much behind you and so much pushing you. Coming into this competition, it's been three weeks of really lagging in my programs and a bit of a waiting game trying to get rested up. So I was just waiting and waiting, and that can become frustrating. It just didn't turn around fast enough.
Hence Parrott's contemplation about giving up his 1,500 spot to a teammate such as Roberge, who is also in his first Olympics.
"It's still up in the air," he said. "I might just finish the competition where I'm at right now. I've had the satisfaction of racing in the 500 and the 1,000 metres. It's been absolutely fantastic. But at the same time, I don't want to go out and race if I'm not going to put down races that I'm proud of. So I might just let my other teammate race who could be in a better position to put down a better time than me. We don't know yet.
"I don't feel like more races will benefit me down the road. I just want to feel good when I race, so there's no sense in me being out there, especially if someone else can do a better job."
At least Parrott, who has just one year of experience on the Canadian national team, can console himself with making the Vancouver Games a valuable learning experience for the future.
"I'm not done yet," he vowed. "I still have a lot of years ahead of me. Everything goes in up and down, and now is a down. Who knows? Next year could be an up and I'm on the podium."
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 18, 2010 C2
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