Sunday, August 1, 2010


The past three years I have been very fortunate to have two time Olympian and 2010 Gold Medalist, Curt Tomasevicz, as my training partner. He is one of the hardest workers I know and has not only pushed me in the weight room and the track, but he has taught me valuable lessons about our sport. His advice helped prepare me mentally for the ups and downs of the Olympic season. As long as I have known Curt, he has talked of his love for two things: the Chicago Cubs and the band Pearl Jam.  I really had no clue about either of these two things and have gradually over the years learned to appreciate and understand his infatuation. A couple years ago, Curt shared with me three dreams he wanted to fulfill in his lifetime. 1. Win an Olympic Gold Medal 2. Throw out the first pitch at Wrigley Field 3. Play his bass guitar with Pearl Jam (which was completed this summer with the help of a family friend).

After last season when he and his team, ‘The Night Train,’ won Gold at the 2009 World Championships, I determined that Curt had the accompliments for me to help make his second dream happen and the talent to make his first happen. I was on a mission. I was somehow going to make his first pitch at Wrigley Field happen.  After many discouraging emails and phone calls I recruited the help of my teammate and Chicago native, 2010 Olympian, Jamie Moriarty. I asked Jamie if he had any ideas of how I could make this happen and coincidentally he was trained by a coach that had connections with many of the Cubs players and even the owner! Jamie and I sat down and composed an email to Todd Ricketts, the owner of the Cubs, expressing why we thought Curt, a long time Cubs fan, would be a perfect candidate for throwing out the first pitch at one of the games. A few days after the Opening Ceremony Jamie got an email back from Todd confirming that Curt was going to have the opportunity to throw out a first pitch. We were ecstatic and felt like little kids waiting for Christmas as we held in our secret and waited until after the final Bobsled runs to tell our teammate what his future held.

                          Jamie, Curt and I on Wrigley Field

Last week Curt and I (and about 60 of Curt’s family and friends) traveled to Jamie’s hometown, Chicago, for the much anticipated first pitch. It was amazing to watch a grown man, on the pitchers mound, in front of thousands of fans, realize a childhood dream. It is easy as athletes to forget that we get the opportunity to do incredible things daily. Every one of us may not have the opportunity to complete all the things we want to do in our life before the age of 30, like Curt has done, but we have accomplished more than many have dreamed of doing. After seeing Curt accomplish his three dreams I have realized that really anything is possible. Anything. Whether it is throwing out a first pitch, playing with your favorite band, or even winning an Olympic Gold Medal. These dreams are all attainable, it is just up to us to find a way to make them happen.


Caitlin said...

It seems as though reaching your own goals is amazing but helping someone else reach their goals is almost more meaningful. What an awesome friend and teammate you are!

Kate Whitcomb said...

Very inspiring Emily.

It sounds like your teammate needs to make a new list! What a great place to be.

I hope your training is going well!