Aussie Sally Fitzgibbons dissolved into tears as she thanked her family after her quarterfinal exit to Japan’s Amuro Tsuzuki on Tuesday.
“It hurts so bad. This one is the toughest loss of my career,” Fitzgibbons told Channel 7 in a raw and heartbreaking interview after the event.
“It wanted to do it so bad for my teammates and my country and it didn’t happen.”
"It hurts so bad… my heart is shattered."
— 7Olympics (@7olympics) July 27, 2021
Fitzgibbons chose surfing over track and field after winning the 1500m race at the 2007 Youth Olympics and has always carried a desire to comepte at a Games, which came true when the sport was added to the Olympics for the first time here.
“It’s so raw and real and you get the beauty of, probably, listening to the heart shattering even from where you’re standing,” Fitzgibbons was quoted as saying by the Daily telegrapgh.
“It’s the hardest loss you’ll ever have to deal with when you’ve got this flag on your board and your teammates on the sand and your family back home.
“But you’ve just got to pick yourself back up, and that’s why we love sport. I’m still having the best time, even in tears – it’s what we love about it”
Fitzgibbons chose surfing over track and field after winning the 1500m race at the 2007 Youth Olympics and has alsways carried a desire to comepte at a Games, which came true when the sport was added to the Olympics for the first time here.
“Today almost feels like the first time you lost in the title race,” she said. “It’s a new experience so the body … it’s such a shock to the system. It’s the toughest loss of my career.
“You know what losing is about and the perspective and why you’re here. You know those 30 minutes don’t define you or your body of work but you just hope that the planets align and it can happen.”
Fitzgibbons must shrug off the shattering loss to continue her assault on the World championship, having come close but never won one.
“I guess I’m one step closer and stronger to a world title after this experience,” Fitzgibbons said.
“I’ll go to Mexico, try to win there, then go to Tahiti – that’s new too – and try to win that, then win a world title.
“If it doesn’t happen, I’ll still be smiling.”
As well as her family, the Gerringon, NSW rider, thanked “every volunteer, every person that sacrificed in Tokyo and Japan to have us here, to allow us to go ride the waves and live out a childhood dream.
“It just feels like something bigger than yourself.
“To get to the start line was the first gold medal. It wasn’t a gold medal today – or a medal at all – but it’s definitely created the hunger to come back in 2024.
“(Paris) is close – close enough. Let’s do it.
“There’s so many Aussies that could represent us and I sure hope it’s me, but we have such a strong future of young surfers now at home and they’re coming into their prime, too.
“When you think of Paris watch out, the Aussies are definitely coming.”