The Olympic Hopeful


Every hotel was booked. We were on three waiting lists for a hotel room when we decided we needed to change our plan. We scoured Craigslist for a house to rent and booked it just before we departed to Eugene, Oregon for the Olympic Trials. When we arrived, we stared at each other in disbelief…it was as if we walked into a 1962 time capsule. Orange shag rug, a large photo of Marilyn Monroe hung on the wall, and a ceramic owl perched over the fireplace. While I was reading A Sailor’s Manifesto that hung in the green bathroom, Melanie brought out a record player and we swayed to Frank Sinatra as we tried to air out the house.

Three days later, we sat on the orange shag rug with glasses of champagne. We toasted to hard work, dedication, glitter headbands, no more Paleo diets, wearing the cutest outfit on the track, and to life. Tears were shed. On Sunday, Brianna jumped wonderfully (her jump would have qualified her for the past two Olympic Trials), but all of the top three long jumpers jumped their personal best. Not one, all three.

It was hard to watch my best friend face the most disappointing moment of her career, but there was beauty in her grace. I’ve watched her give her life to something she believed in…and hold her head high even when things didn’t work out the way she’d hoped. Brianna showed me life is about picking up the pieces, duct-taping them the best you can, and limping on because there’s another chapter waiting to be written.

Before we headed to the track on Sunday, we started the day with Mexican food…

Just outside the track, a festival was constructed and we spent a lovely afternoon wandering in the warm sun…

A girl can dream, right?!

The problem with having a twin sister is that she thinks it’s still cool to photo bomb a picture…

I know this isn’t the best photo, but this was Bri’s longest jump of the day and we’re incredibly proud of it…

Where’s Waldo?

I wished there was a Kiss Cam at Hayward Field, but seeing Brianna on the big screen was second best 😉

When I look at this picture, I see how much Bri is hurting…she masked it well, but if you know her, it’s laying just below the surface…

…but it’s also nice to know we can make her truly smile at a moment’s notice.

Here’s to picking up the pieces, duct tape, and starting a new chapter…

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  1. Linda Schilberg

    July 3rd, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    Beautiful post! Cheers to your friend and her amazing hard work!

  2. Lacey Rabalais

    July 3rd, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    Congrats on you sticking by her side. Congrats on her sticking to her dreams. It’s nice to see her grace and be honored by her friends for having it. Her triumphs are amazing, no matter what the outcome says.

  3. Elisabetta {Linen and Silk}

    July 3rd, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    Oh Jasmine, from your words I can see that you are such an incredible friend. What a big heart you have. Your friends are lucky to have you! xx

  4. Mary Margaret

    July 3rd, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    How lucky she is to have people that love and support her to take the journey with her. I’m sure she feels and knows she is truly blessed! Congratulations to her on an amazing journey!!!

  5. Rhonda

    July 3rd, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    You are an amazing friend to Bri to be there for her – You, Bianca and the other beauty with curly hair (not to leave out JD) but I’m sure her heart was full of pride to have her BFFs there with her!

  6. TamiPaige

    July 3rd, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    Wow…what a great lesson and example. You’re all beautiful, and is it weird to say that I’m so incredibly proud of her and I only "know" her through your blog? I’m excited to see where life will take her!

  7. Gail

    July 3rd, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    I looked up the long jump results yesterday and I knew…and my heart fell into my stomach a little FOR you guys.

    But all that aside, what your bestie has accomplished is TRULY amazing. I know with enough closure, she’ll realize that — and I hope she puts all that talent of hers toward inspiring other Olympic hopefuls. Coach Bri sounds nice, doesn’t it? 🙂

    PS – So awesome you guys could be there for her. So so awesome, orange shag carpet and all.

  8. Diane Rodriguez

    July 3rd, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    You are all such amazing friends for going and supporting Brianna!!! I don’t even know her but this made me ache for her. She is still a winner in my book!!!!!!

  9. Jamie

    July 3rd, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    Seriously?! You totally could have stayed in our little log cabin… It’s no castle, but hey, no leftover 70’s shag, either… We were even out of town! Tell Brianna that we Eugenians were proud just to have her (and her sweet friends) grace our city. ;0)

  10. Deborah Zoe

    July 3rd, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    b-e-a-utiful. and what a joy it is to have girlfriends that stick with you through life’s ups and downs. Love it J:)

  11. Nadine Burzler

    July 3rd, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    Just under the surface… My heart hurt when I read she didn’t make it. I’m positive there’s a bigger plan for her though… Now might be a good time for her to watch this..


  12. Liz

    July 3rd, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    Jasmine, your house experience sounds like an episode of Portlandia (which if you’re not watching, you should be – IFC channel). Also have you read Dara Torres book on her last Olympic comeback? I think anyone who can even get to that level is amazing, regardless of whether they go or not, and your friend should be SO proud.

  13. Deyla Huss

    July 3rd, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    WOW this is so great! I love that your friendship seems so strong and your support for one another is such a blessing to each other Im sure. Cheers to Bri and all her accomplishments!

  14. Cheryl

    July 3rd, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    A while back when you mentioned Brianna’s blog, I skipped over to her site and read quite a bit. I admired and related to her desire to use her God given talent in a way that honored Him. I look forward to seeing what else God has in store for her and her career.

  15. Whitney Dupuis

    July 3rd, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    I think it is amazing at how much talent it takes to even get there. I know it is no consolation, but this just means she wasn’t supposed to be there. Something better for her will come along.

  16. Andrea

    July 3rd, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    Brought tears to my eyes. It’s as if you’ve taken us with you on this journey. Hats off to Bri for her dedication and pursuing life dreams. Can’t wait to see what the next chapter in her life brings.

  17. Sandy

    July 3rd, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    What a beautiful friendship… 🙂

  18. Shannon Von Eschen

    July 3rd, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    You’re not just a good photographer. Or business woman, wife, or teacher. You’re a good friend.A very good friend. Made me tear up to see you so happy and supportive. I’m so glad I know you.

  19. Daniel Cruz

    July 3rd, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    Wow. I watched some of the Olympics from home, and I was almost in tears watching competitors just make the mark, or just fall short of it. To wait and train 4 years takes so much discipline, only to almost make it.

    It’s something great to smile at the face of great defeat, and it’s even another to continue the pursuit of greatness when you rise from the ashes.

    Thank you for sharing this Jasmine, and best of luck to your friend with hopes of a speedy recovery. It was also so nice finally talking to you at The Fix in LA.


  20. Mary Marantz

    July 3rd, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    This post is so insanely beautiful. Seriously. It hit a nerve all the way to the depths of my soul. Hugs to you all. M:)

  21. Anneliese

    July 3rd, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    Brianna is such a rock star. Whether she made it to the Olympics or not, she is already a champion. So much favor in her life and she has amazing friends who cheer her on..that is something that few people have in this life. Brianna, YOU GO GIRL! 🙂

  22. Jessica Vidmar Photography

    July 3rd, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    thanks for a very touching post. I don’t know Brianna at all but you have a way of writing that makes me feel I do and feel sorry for her disappointments and love to see her smile : )

  23. MiaS

    July 3rd, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    The people of Tucson are very proud of our Wildcat!
    Bear Down!!!

  24. Susan Evans

    July 3rd, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    I’m sure she has to be broken-hearted, but how very impressive that she even made it there! It’s awesome that you guys were there in support of her too.

  25. brianna

    July 3rd, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    thank you for being there. thank you for loving me. thank you for convincing me to take off the Oakleys for the picture. <3

  26. Kelly Gentz

    July 3rd, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    I can only imagine the heartbreak your friend is feeling. Sounds like she’s pretty amazing regardless of if she made it to the Olympics or not. She should be very proud of her accomplishments. It would be a blast to cheer for a dear friend at such an amazing event (the trials). Thanks for sharing with us.

  27. Mikaela

    July 3rd, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    beautifully said. love the photos! xo

  28. Sharon Carrey

    July 3rd, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    Jasmine..thank you very much for sharing these pictures. I’m so glad I could add these to my own album. I’m so glad that Bri is blessed with you "bombers" to make her laugh even at her most vulnerable times. Thank you so very much! ~Bri’s Aunt Sharon~

  29. Abbey L

    July 3rd, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    God wont give Bri anything she cant handle<3 she will do great things<3 love this post<3

  30. Ashley Goodwin

    July 3rd, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    Ya’ll are amazing friends, what a great support to have you all there!
    I anxiously watched to catch a glimpse of her and when we saw the scores, I too was crushed.
    She is freakin’ INCREDIBLE, there are tons more great things in store for her I am sure of it.
    And I see ya’ll had a hard time listening to the "people wear athletic clothes to the field" rule. HAHAHAH.

  31. jenn blake {scout}

    July 3rd, 2012 at 7:35 pm

    tears of sadness for your friend. what a moment that must have been to see her fight for what she wanted so badly. lucky to have had great friends there to pick her up 🙂 great post jasmine!

  32. Heather Bird

    July 3rd, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    I don’t know Brianna, but have visited her blog occasionally since a time way back when you posted something else about her. I was so crushed for her when I saw that she didn’t make it and had tears in my eyes, just reading the title of your post. What an incredible friend you are and how amazing that she made it that far! Love the photos of you four!

  33. Marie

    July 3rd, 2012 at 7:52 pm

    🙁 You totally shoulda used that pic from Bri’s blog…then everyone could see how awesome her outfit really was. She’s a rockstar!

  34. Jackie Lamas

    July 3rd, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    I have three very close friends and when one of them goes for something we are there cheering them on. and when one needs to pick up and move on, we move on together. such a beautiful friendship! thank you for reminding me 🙂

  35. Sydni Jackson

    July 3rd, 2012 at 8:19 pm

    Congratulations to Brianna for making it to the Olympic Trials and doing awesome!! Fame doesn’t equate to success, I think she is a hugely successful already!

  36. Bobbie Brown

    July 3rd, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    Oh wow. This gave me chill bumps. LOVE the images and the story they tell… I am sad she did not make the team, but proud that she went so far (and I don’t even know her! haha! but I am proud for her 🙂 )

  37. Christa

    July 3rd, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    What a story. Good luck to Brianna on her next chapter, whatever it is…she’s very lucky to have friends like you.

  38. Evonne & Darren

    July 3rd, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    To be able to qualify for the Olympic trials, Brianna is already a champion and she’s blessed to have friends like you and JD! We all know that Bri will do great things in her life and this is just one little part of it! 🙂

  39. Mindy Metivier

    July 3rd, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    Congratulations to Brianna for doing her best and shooting for the stars!!! Big hugs to her!!! You’re all so sweet to make the trip up there to support your dear friend/sister. Here’s to Brianna!!! I wish her well in her next chapter!!! I know she will succeed with flying colors!!! 🙂

  40. Ashli

    July 3rd, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    Sounds like she did wonderful! Congrats to her and all her supporters. Quick photo question – I was wondering what lens/settings you used for the shot of Brianna at the Mexican place (with the back on JD’s head I think). Thanks!

  41. LEOLAK

    July 3rd, 2012 at 10:33 pm

    Love this post! Brianna should be very proud of her great accomplishment! I am sure great things are very much in her future! What great friends you all are!! Beautiful to see!

  42. Sara Mac

    July 3rd, 2012 at 10:51 pm

    It’s been a while since I posted a comment here and reading this blog is such a delight! Congrats to Brianna for going for her dream. I hope this experience only brings her to more opportunities to share her talent.

  43. Kiki

    July 3rd, 2012 at 11:02 pm

    WHAT! Im confused! Why are there two of you in some these photos? IS THAT YOUR TWIN? OMG! Wait! I might be seeing things or something…..I’ll look again

  44. Malinda Warder

    July 4th, 2012 at 1:48 am

    Wow! What a great reminder of how not to get stuck in life. Be grateful for where we’re at even if we’re limping and held together with duct tape:)

  45. Tara Brown

    July 4th, 2012 at 8:54 am

    Small world. One of my friends was also at the Olympic trials for jumping. He’d been training so incredibly hard and he finished 5th, missing the cut. 🙁 So hard to see our friends put so much of themselves into this and have it not work out…but hopefully next time it will happen!!! So proud of his journey, just as I’m sure you’re proud of Brianna’s.

  46. corey

    July 4th, 2012 at 8:56 am

    J man your stories always seem to hold my attention span.. I love that and this story is great makes me wanna hear "NEVER Give UP" by Robin Thicke.. btw, Brianna is beautiful.. very much..

  47. Elizabeth

    July 4th, 2012 at 11:51 am

    I hope she does not give up and she will be able to try again!!! I am proud of her accomplishment. She should be an inspiration to many young girls and women out there because heaven knows we need GOOD role models. God bless you Brianna you are amazing and gorgeous inside and out.

  48. Mercedes

    July 4th, 2012 at 8:58 pm

    So sweet of you to share this. It had to be hard to watch, but bravo for being a great encourager. Bravo to her for keeping her chin up! Go Brianna!

  49. John Cain Sargent

    July 4th, 2012 at 10:48 pm

    This makes me want to cook dinner for your friends and have everybody over for a game night. Praise God from whom all blessings flow, even those in disguise by disappointment. In a man’s heart he plans his course but the Lord determines his steps.

  50. Christina Dely

    July 5th, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    You are such a wonderful friend Jasmine. I am sure your support meant the world. Beautiful images as always! 🙂

  51. Bob Owen

    July 7th, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    Great post and love your B&W processing too!

  52. Marissa Nicole

    July 7th, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    Good Friends. Good Friends.

  53. Sheila K

    July 7th, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    Duct tape the pieces. Brilliant! Next time you’re looking for a rental, use Craigslist scares the be-jee-bees out of me. They have no trust & security. 🙂

  54. Millie

    July 9th, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    Love you Bri!!

  55. Robyn

    July 10th, 2012 at 3:40 am

    I just teared up a little for her with that second to last photo. Congratulations to Brianna for giving it her all and going for it. I’m always so impressed by athletes, and whether she made it or not, this stranger who I’ve come to know through your blog is already such an inspiration. Cheers to all of you! xo

  56. Hugo Tepe

    July 10th, 2012 at 6:42 pm

    Go Ducks! Ahem… I mean U.S.A! 😉