Holly McNeill: on becoming ‘better’

Aurelie Rivard won gold and set a world record early in our coverage of the Paralympics and whether I knew it or not it was something I had always dreamed of seeing live.

Holly Mcneill in Rio
Holly McNeill not only got to see Aurelie Rivard’s gold medal-winning race in the pool, she was able to watch the medal ceremony.

I not only got to see the race, I was able to watch the medal ceremony and the amazing moment that followed.

While she waited the climb on top of the podium she was crying, smiling, and searching the crowd for her family, and it was everything I love about sports.

Now look, I understand that this should be Rivard’s moment but I found myself experiencing a dream I didn’t know I had coming true.

As Rivard stepped up on that podium, I realized I had earned a small victory of my own.

I put aside my fears and my insecurities and I did what would make me happy. I talked to strangers. It used to be my version of hell and when I decided to join this program I had to make a tough decision, get over it or hide. I decided to try and get over it.

It wasn’t easy and I am far from done but I have gotten over a lot of it and been able to learn how to write better, interview better, and simply be better.

So as I watched the incredible 20-year-old swimmer step up and sing along with our national anthem I allowed myself a moment of congratulations.