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Book excerpt: Caitlyn Jenner felt ‘neither confident nor attractive’ after Olympic triumph

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Bruce Jenner broke the decathlon world record en route to winning the 1976 Olympic gold medal in Montreal.

But struggling with confusion over gender identity, Jenner felt conflicted by the newfound title of “world’s greatest athlete.”

Jenner, who is now known as Caitlyn after announcing in 2015 that she was transitioning to living as a woman, revealed her mindset the morning after the Olympic triumph in the following excerpt from her best-selling memoir, “The Secrets of My Life,” which is available now:

I am looking in the mirror in a suite of the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal the morning after my Olympic win. I am naked with the gold medal around my neck. Now that it’s over, who am I?

I am trying to see if I feel different after winning the gold and setting a world record and already being offered a broadcasting job by ABC.

The world’s greatest athlete.

Nobody can say that except the thirteen gold medalists who have come before.

But I don’t feel particularly different. I look into the mirror and I still see what I always see to one degree or another—a person who in working so hard to erase what is inside him has overcome nothing. Now that the Grand Diversion of training for the Olympics is over, now that I have won, what happens next? Will I find something else to preoccupy me, to take the edge off? My wife, Chrystie, is sleeping in the next room. She thinks she knows me almost four years into our marriage. She does know me.

She doesn’t know me at all.

My fingers feel like talons, my shoulders and arms humped and ridged with bony muscles. My hair…I hate my hair no matter how long I try to make it. I look into my eyes. I take a few steps closer and burrow into them. What do I see?

What do you see?

I still see Bruce Jenner.

Not the Bruce Jenner the world now sees and wants and desires.

The Bruce Jenner I never wanted and never desired.

I am proud of my accomplishment. The day of the closing ceremonies at the Munich Olympics in 1972, where I finished tenth as a twenty‐two‐year‐old, even I was surprised to have gotten that far. I wondered, But what if I spend every minute of the next four years of my life training? What if I test myself to the limits to see how good I can become at something?

I did exactly that.

But now that I have won, how special it could possibly be if I could do it. I am a skilled athlete who works harder than the rest, who has to prove his manhood more than the rest. I may act self‐assured, but I still am not. I may exude an attractive confidence, but I feel neither confident nor attractive.

I still see Bruce Jenner.

Excerpted from THE SECRETS OF MY LIFE by Caitlyn Jenner. Copyright © 2017 CJ Memoires, LLC. Reprinted with permission of Grand Central Publishing. All rights reserved.

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MORE: Olympic decathlon title one half of ‘ultimate double’ for Caitlyn Jenner

World Cup Alpine season opener gets green light

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After checking the snow on the Rettenbach glacier in Soelden, Austria, FIS officials announced Thursday that the traditional World Cup season opener is set to go ahead as planned Oct. 26-27 with men’s and women’s giant slalom races.

Current conditions at Soelden show a solid 30 inches of snow at the summit. The race finishes at an altitude of 2,670 meters (8,760 feet), far above the currently snowless village.

The first races of the season are never guaranteed to have enough snow, though last year’s men’s race at Soelden had the opposite problem, being canceled when a storm blew through with heavy snowfall and high winds. 

France’s Tessa Worley won the women’s race last year ahead of Italy’s Frederica Brignone and U.S. skier Mikaela Shiffrin, who would go on to dominate the rest of the World Cup season.

The Soelden weekend is followed by three dormant weeks until the season resumes Nov. 23-24 in Levi, Finland. The World Cup circuits then switch to North America. The men will run speed events Nov. 30-Dec. 1 in Lake Louise, Alberta, then head to Beaver Creek, Colo., for more speed events and a giant slalom Dec. 6-8. The women run slalom and giant slalom Nov. 30-Dec. 1 in Killington, Vt., and head to Lake Louise the next weekend.

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Olympic marathon and race walk move from Tokyo to Sapporo draws some pushback

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In the wake of a dropout-plagued set of world championship endurance races in Qatar, moving the 2020 Olympic marathons and race walks from Tokyo to the cooler venue of Sapporo is a quick fix for one problem, pending the potential for untimely heat waves.

But the move has drawn some opposition for a variety of reasons.

First, many organizers and politicians appear to have been caught by surprise. Tokyo’s governor, Yuriko Koike, was “taken aback” and Sapporo’s mayor, Katsuhiro Akimoto, learned about the move from the media, Kyodo News reported. Koike even sarcastically suggested that the races could move all the way northward to islands disputed by Russia and Japan.

South African sports scientist Ross Tucker suggested that running in heat and humidity poses an interesting challenge for athletes, some of whom may be able to catch up with faster runners by preparing for the conditions.

British marathoner Mara Yamauchi made a similar point, saying the move was unfair to those who already were preparing for the heat, humidity and other conditions.

Belgian marathoner Koen Naert said he will make the best of the change but complained that some of his preparation and every runner’s logistical planning would no longer apply.

The angriest athlete may be Canadian walker Evan Dunfee, who placed fourth in the 2016 Olympic 50km race and nearly claimed bronze as a Canadian appeal was upheld but then rejected. He says runners and walkers can beat the conditions if they prepare, which many athletes did not do for the world championships in Qatar.

“So why do we cater to the ill prepared?” Dunfee asked on Twitter.

The move also takes athletes out of the main Olympic city and takes away the traditional, tough less frequent in modern years, finish in the Olympic stadium.

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