“Ashton and Brianne consistently show the ability to rise to the next level on the day of competition. A lot of people wet their pants, plain and simple. Ashton and Brianne are extremely well-grounded people, and I have no worries concerning whether will they be up to compete really well.”
While Theisen didn’t exactly wet her pants last summer in London, she calls the Olympics a big learning experience.
The athlete who’s largely competed in the shadow of Canadian-record holder Jessica Zelinka, was in the same heat as English star Jessica Ennis in the hurdles, the first event of the heptathlon. The noise in London’s jam-packed Olympic Stadium was deafening.
“When I walked out for the hurdles, it blew my mind, I completely lost all my focus. I was just like ‘Holy crap,“’ Theisen said. “It was so loud, the place was vibrating, and it was so scary. At first I started laughing, thinking ‘I can’t believe this happening,’ and then my whole body was shaking, which was so stupid because it’s just another meet, you shouldn’t do or feel or be any more nervous than you normally are.
“But it’s something I think you just have to experience, so that you know what to expect next time.”
She was prepared the next time, which was the Hypo Meeting in May, scoring 6,376 points to win. Zelinka’s Canadian record is 6,599.
With Eaton out of Gotzis with a hamstring injury, Damian Warner of London, Ont., won the decathlon. It was the first time since 1988 that the two winners — two of a group of strong young Canadian track and field athletes — were from the same country. It was also the first time a Canadian had won since Michael Smith in 1996.
“We knew going into it that Damian probably had a pretty good shot to win, and after the first day and how it played out, I knew that I had a really good shot to win,” Theisen said. “So we were playing off each other a little bit, every time we saw each other, we asked how the other one was doing and we both were pretty aware of the fact that we could both win.
“It’s a pretty big thing for Canadian multi-events and Canadian athletics in general. It sucks that Ashton wasn’t there, but I guess it made it up for it that Damian won.”
Now Theisen, Eaton and Warner are headed for Moscow for the world track and field championships, Aug. 10-18.
But first, there’s a wedding.
Eaton tweeted last week: “1 week until (at)briannetheisen & I hitch it, tie it, ‘I do’ it, goodbye it. Follow the action at #TheisenEatonWedding.”
Theisen laughingly admitted she’s been planning since the week they got engaged.
“Ashton thought I was nuts, but I said, ‘It’s going to be really busy because we’re going to have to jam this in the middle of track and field season.’ So we’ve been doing little things for two years now. And I’ve had a lot of fun planning and haven’t been stressed out yet.”
The planning, in fact, has been a nice mental break from track.
“When you’re a professional athlete, there’s actually quite a bit of down time and I’ve talked to other athletes and they’ve said they get so bored, they have nothing to do,” she said. “This has been something, kind of a fun project for me to fill up my time a little bit.”
The two will wed in front of 200 family members and friends in Eugene. About 50 guests are making the trip from Saskatchewan. Then the newlyweds will pack their bags for Estonia, for their final preparations for Moscow.
The honeymoon will have to wait.
“We travel so much, and we don’t want the honeymoon to be planned and then to not really feel like going on it because we’ve been travelling so much,” Theisen said. “The honeymoon we’ll plan at a time when we feel we want a break, when we actually want to go on a vacation.”