Some people talk about ‘the black hole’ after the Olympics. The what? The thing in the ozone layer that means every summer I have to slather myself in sun-screen but still get burnt?
Not exactly. For athletes it’s that feeling that everything you’ve been working towards – that thing that has been consuming your thoughts and actions for so long – is over. It may sound strange, but the best way I can describe it is feeling a sense or hollowness, like the lights have been switched off and you’ve been left fumbling around in the dark not knowing what direction to go in.
For me especially, who was extremely disappointed in my performance, I’m left with this heartburning, dry throat sensation that seems strangely reminiscent to how I felt when my first boyfriend dumped me and left me heartbroken.
Having never been in the situation before (it was my Olympic debut) and never spoken to others about what post-Olympic sensations could entail the first few days post the Olympic road race on the 29th of July were a mess of emotions. One moment I’d be laughing, the next crying, the next wandering around at a loss for what to do. It serves somewhat as a consolation that most women I’ve spoken to since have been experiencing a similar emotional roller-coster."