Isabelle Weidemann Olympic medal family reaction video


Canadian Cheer: Bringing you inside access to Canadian athletes and families during the 2022 Beijing Olympic Games

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Watching Isabelle Weidemann skate across the 3,000-meter finish line, clocking in a time that guaranteed her a spot on the podium, her mom, Laurel Rockwell had a clear thought in mind: “She did it. She did it.”

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It was nearing 3 a.m. in Calgary. Rockwell was on her feet, in front of the T.V. at their family home, screaming as the 26-year-old long-track speed skater secured her spot in history as an Olympic medal winner.

“We knew she had it in her. We knew the training that she’d put in. We knew she had it.

But you know, all that aside, it still has to come on the day and you can only ever wish them (that) they do their best on that day… And she did her best, and it was the best,” said Rockwell, on a phone call Saturday. She is still “over the moon” some 13 hours after her daughter’s race.

Unlike her first Olympics in 2018, when Weidemann’s parents were able to travel to Pyeongchang to watch her compete and place fourth, sixth and seventh in her three races, Rockwell and husband John Weidemann cheered on their eldest daughter from home, alongside Isabelle’s younger sister Lily and family friends.

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“All that training goes into five minutes of racing, or whatever it was,” John said Saturday afternoon. “Three minutes and 58 seconds,” Rockwell chimed in. Conceding this, John continued: “She got it done right. She (had) a great race.”

They’re overjoyed, and saw the same reaction in their daughter, having been able to speak with her a number of times since her skate – including just a short time after, an unexpected but much welcomed call.

Long track speed skater Isabelle Weidemann won Olympic bronze in the women’s 3000m. The medal was team Canada’s first medal of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics on Saturday, February 5, 2022.
Long track speed skater Isabelle Weidemann won Olympic bronze in the women’s 3000m. The medal was team Canada’s first medal of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics on Saturday, February 5, 2022. Photo by Gavin Young/Postmedia

“She doesn’t usually show a lot of emotion, and she called us last night with a lot of emotion,” said John.

”She’s so happy and so happy to be able to do this for Canada, like … her pride is so genuine,” said Rockwell.

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While the family used to live in Ottawa, where Isabelle was born, all three Weidemann kids were speed skating in Calgary – two on the national team, the third on the development team – and Rockwell and Weidemann decided to move to Alberta to support them several years ago.

There will be more watch parties, with the family and friends that local COVID-19 gathering limits will allow, as Isabelle skates in the 5,000m and the team pursuit. Hardware in both would be no surprise, and her family is hopeful, but they’re also taking nothing for granted.

BEIJING, CHINA – FEBRUARY 05: Isabelle Weidemann of Team Canada skates during the Women’s 3000m on day one of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games at National Speed Skating Oval on February 05, 2022 in Beijing, China.
BEIJING, CHINA – FEBRUARY 05: Isabelle Weidemann of Team Canada skates during the Women’s 3000m on day one of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games at National Speed Skating Oval on February 05, 2022 in Beijing, China. Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos /Getty Images

“For me, it’s a little bit of – oh thank goodness, she did what she had to, and now she can enjoy it, you know. That’s how I feel,” said John. “It’s like, wow, she knows she has it now. She’s got a medal so she can enjoy the 5K and the team pursuit.”

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