This 2013-14 Olympic season brings with it a new element for me to become associated with and that is being cut by your national team and ending the athlete's Olympic journey. No Games, No Opportunity to Medal, No Opening Ceremonies, No Olympic clothing, No biographical statement - 2014 Olympian.
Honestly, for me, the perspective that I have with these 2014 Olympic hopefuls is personal. I know their story, I know what struggles and what they have overcome and given up for the opportunity to complete their journey.
Thankfully for me in 2006, 2010 and 2012 this is something that I have not had to face before because honestly it is heart wrenching. As luck would have it, 2013 brought with it a cut that was unexpected and still I cannot make heads or tails on.
The job of an agent though is to support these athletes on their journey. Should the journey end, it is at that time that you need to become reactionary and advise immediately. From an athlete perspective, Do you do media? Do you skip media? Do you try and take 24-48 hours off and then answer everything? Do you issue a statement?
In my case, the athlete I work for was the consummate professional. No regrets, answer each and all questions, be as helpful as she could be and do it then for everyone. This is not the same way that everyone would handle what is truly a heartbreaking time, but in her case it was the way she wanted to do it.
At the same time, when one door closes, another door would open. This door would be broadcasting opportunities that she had left to pursue the 2014 Olympic Games.
While her next journey is beginning now, what shows me that she is a leader beyond what you might imagine, her team made their final cuts just a few days before Christmas from what has been posted on social media, she has been their to care for those who will not be able to complete their own journey. She understands this better then most because she was one of those cuts before the 2006 Olympic Games and ultimately worked extremely hard to make the 2010 Olympic Games in her native land. I consider this to be the ultimate level of leadership to nurture knowing that this occurred with you just 6 weeks earlier. I am in awe and know that the person will always be ahead in life having these qualities in them.
Cut Day - Not for the faint hearted and not for anyone who is invested in an athlete's journey, but you be there for them at the greatest hour of pain and help them get to the next place in the life journey.
You are better for knowing them and helping them get to where they will go next, you just don't have to be happy about their pain.