Edita Pucinskaite reflected on her Olympic experience after a long journey home from China. Pucinskaite, who is from Lithuania, finished ninth in the road race and 23rd in the time trial.
"Ninth place in the Olympics is a major achievement that reconfirms that I am one of the strongest athletes in the world, but the problem for me, as with any athlete, is that I regret when I can't give my best," she said. "Everything could have been different, more beautiful, and instead, this is not the case."
Pucinskaite crashed hard in the women's World Cup in Sweden on July 30. She injured her shoulder, obtaining a large haematoma, and said the pain is still not gone today.
"I can still not drink from a bottle with my right arm, and I can't pull on my arm when sprinting or climbing hard," she said. "In the coming days, I will have to go to the hospital for further checks."
Pucinskaite didn't attribute her performance solely to effects of the crash, but said another problem was the rain and the subsequent drop of temperature by 15 degrees.
She is already thinking about what is left for her this season. "A lot will depend on the condition of my shoulder. I want to concentrate on the Tour of Tuscany and the Worlds in Varese."
"Who knows, perhaps I have had my share of bad luck and the sun will shine on me now?" she speculated.
Health permitting, she will next head to the World Cup in Plouay, France, on August 24; the World Cup in Nurnberger, Germany, on September 14 and the World Championships in Varese, Italy, on September 30.