PYEONGCHANG, South Korea – Heather Moyse may have been here before, but the 2018 Winter Olympics is providing a different experience for the Summerside native.
Moyse is the first Prince Edward Islander to wear Canada’s colours in four Olympic Games. She will compete in the two-woman bobsleigh competition on Tuesday and Wednesday. Dave (Eli) MacEachern of Charlottetown competed in men’s bobsleigh in the 1992, 1994 and 1998 Winter Olympics.
“Amazing and surreal all at the same time,” said Moyse, describing how it feels to be back at the Olympics in a recent interview with the Journal Pioneer.
Moyse is the brakeman for Edmonton pilot Alysia Rissling, who is making her Olympics debut.
Moyse and pilot Kaillie Humphries made headlines winning back-to-back gold medals at the 2010 Games in Vancouver and in 2014 in Sochi. Moyse just missed winning a bronze medal with pilot Helen Upperton in Turin in 2006.
Alysia Rissling. Dave Holland/Canadian Olympic Committee
Email sparked return
A year ago, Moyse had no intentions of pursuing a third Olympic medal. Moyse declined an offer from Humphries to reunite, but an email from Rissling in early August changed her mind.
“I admired the leadership component that she kind of touched on,” said Moyse in an interview with the Journal Pioneer in September. “The idea of helping a rookie Olympian, a rookie driver to their first Olympics, was hugely motivating to me.”
With the bobsleigh competition not scheduled until Week 2, Moyse and Rissling have been able to take in the Games experience.
“The opening ceremonies were phenomenal, and there was an electric vibe with all the athletes and getting to walk into the stadium,” recalled Moyse.
Rissling and Moyse attended the Canadian women’s hockey team’s first game against the Athletes of Russia, took in some of the team figure skating event and had tickets to the gold-medal mixed curling game, won by Canada’s John Morris and Kaitlyn Lawes.
Moyse, 39, and Rissling, 29, also made an appearance on TSN’s popular Sports Centre with Jay and Dan earlier this week.
“It’s really fun for me to come with somebody who hasn’t been here before,” said Moyse. “With Alysia, she’s a very different athlete than Kaillie. Kaillie tends to segregate herself and gain more focus that way, whereas Alysia, even all season, is more energetic by being around other people.
“So it’s really just been a whole different experience for me. Alysia and I are having a great time, we are having a lot of fun and meeting some great people. It’s been really great.”
But now it’s time to get back to business. Moyse and Rissling will begin turning up the intensity as they head to the mountain village this weekend to resume training and focus on the competition that runs on Tuesday and Wednesday. Moyse emphasized there’s a time to have fun, but the next five days is all about competing.
“Part of the whole point of being here is to compete, so it’s really a matter of figuring out what you need in order to be successful because you have a job to do,” said Moyse, a former female athlete of the year at Three Oaks Senior High School in Summerside. “For some people it does mean segregating yourself and staying more focused on yourself until you are finished competing . . . For other people, who are used to taking in this kind of social activity and sporting events and if it’s something they do all the time anyway, this really won’t affect their performance.
“It’s really just figuring out what is going to positively impact or not deter from what you are here to do.”