Fans, follow Rutgers junior forward Jonelle Filigno as she participates in the 2012 London Olympics with the Canadian National Team. She will be sharing her journey through photos on www.scarletknights.com. Check back for updates throughout the Olympics and be sure to follow Filigno on Twitter (@JFiligno).
Jonelle Filigno Checks in From London
Rutgers Athletics: Talk a little about your journey to the Olympics, from making the final roster to heading to London and now after two matches.
Jonelle Filigno: Obviously I was very, very excited to make the final roster. I knew it was going to be a close call because I was coming back from my surgery in December, so I knew it was going to be close. When it did happen, I was so thankful. It gave me that boost of confidence I needed to take my play to the next level. It’s been a month and a half now since we found out about the final roster. Ever since the roster was finalized, it has gotten more serious as the days went on. The closer we got (to the Olympics), it became more important. The opening match is the most nerve wracking because it’s the first one and everyone is a little nervous, especially the people that don’t know exactly what to expect. I didn’t get in during the first match, but I played the last 20 minutes of the second match. It’s just exciting to be out there. To have that feeling again, like playing in the World Cup, I just wanted to get back with the team and I’m just so happy to get back and getting that chance there again.
RA: This is your second Olympics, and as you mentioned you went to the World Cup last year. Does it get any easier playing on a world stage? Do you feel you know what to expect now?
JF: I think playing on the world stage shows you where you need to be at. Past experiences have shown me what I was missing, either mentally or physically, so I think that’s something that I focused on this time around. I tried to overload my body to get back where I need to be (after surgery). You learn so much from this experience. Having gone through both the Olympics and a World Cup already has definitely taught me a lot both on and off the field.
RA: What were you feeling when you first got into the game against South Africa?
JF: I was both nervous and excited. It’s just like any feeling going into any big match. It gets your body and adrenaline pumping. Your also very nervous because you want to perform well. I didn’t get a chance the first game, so I was very excited. I have almost 18 members of my family who came down to support me, so it was exciting for them to be able to see me out there. I was happy about that. I could hear them. They were so loud and they were just chanting ‘Go Jonelle!’ That’s all I heard. I thought it was funny. It was pretty awesome. They kind of took over the stadium.
RA: How do you prepare for your upcoming match against Sweden?
JF: We just have to follow through on our game plan. We’ve been preparing. We have a lot of experience with Sweden, having played them quite a bit over the past couple years. We obviously want to go into any game and beat the other team. We don’t want to worry about where we place, but our goal is to just go out there and beat every team. We’re excited about it.
RA: Having your family there must be a special experience.
JF: Definitely. My mom’s sister lives here, so about 15 members of my family and some friends were able to make it out here. They’re not coming to the third game because we were in Coventry and that’s where my dad’s hotel was for everyone and Newcastle, where we are now, is five hours away. They’re going to my aunt’s house and they’ll watch the game on TV. I had them here in Coventry though for the first two games, which was really awesome. I got to see them a lot more than I thought I would so that was pretty cool.