To all of you lovely people who are affiliated with the Whitecaps FC, and for the fans:
Today, my husband Jay DeMerit announces his retirement from soccer.
I am so proud of Jay and what he has accomplished throughout his career, and I can't wait to see what he will accomplish now that he will be focussing his time and energy on off-pitch life and our other endeavours.
From the moment I met Jay, I knew there was something special about him. He has a positive impact on everyone he comes across. I was not surprised when the Whitecaps FC named him captain, and I recognized that it said a lot about who he was off the field as well as on it.
I've never met anyone who is so unconditionally positive, optimistic and encouraging. He brings the best out in everyone around him, from family members, to fans, coaches and teammates. Our whole family -- and that includes many of our close friends -- noticed a change in him about a month ago. He just seemed down. And he was grumpy. We all discussed the grumpiness with the utmost shock and terror, as we realized that we had never seen him grumpy, ever. Though this grumpiness only lasted about 2 hours, and hasn't happened again since, I knew that he was losing steam through his second major injury rehabilitation in as many seasons.
Jay is the type of person who is either all in, or he's out. If anyone could come back from that sort of injury, twice, it's him. He just decided that it doesn't make sense to push through it with haste, when he had already considered this to be his bonus season. He had continued for "one more season" so that he could play... not so that he could spend most of it on the sidelines. He's not interested in battling back again, only to just be hitting his stride as the season wraps up, instead of stepping back and giving someone else a chance. Jay doesn't want to come back and play at 70 or 80% for the last few months of his career, when he's been giving it 110% his whole life, so he's out.
I know from experience that rehabilitating injuries is an incredibly daunting task, and I agree wholeheartedly with his decision to focus that energy on these other projects we are taking on, including his new role with the club as an ambassador and his continued role as a team leader and mentor.
We are also thrilled to announce that we will be starting summer camps for elite level athletes in the summer of 2015. The program will be called Rise & Shine Retreats, and will build on the messaging behind the documentary made about Jay's rare path to success as a professional athlete -- Rise & Shine: The Jay DeMerit Story. It will be an all-encompassing curriculum aimed to prepare young adults for all aspects of life in sport and beyond. Initially focussing on soccer players, the long-term vision is to expand and include other athletes and talented young individuals, through whatever their passions may be, and to create much more than well-prepared athletes, by providing the necessary tools to become well-rounded, good people. Standby for more info on these retreats, and follow our social media for updates. @D6MERIT & @ashleighmcivor
Words cannot express my gratitude toward the Whitecaps FC for bringing Jay here to British Columbia, and of course I have to thank Bell Media for introducing him to me on that one-year anniversary of the Vancouver Olympic Games, at a Canucks game of all places! Our friends -- all the people I've introduced Jay to -- keep asking "Where did you find him?!" and they recently decided that they'd like to write a letter to the Whitecaps and their sponsors that would say "Thanks for Jay". We're keeping him. ;) So on behalf of our entire, extended family, THANK YOU for your unwavering support of our captain, and please accept this as our promise to take care of him just as well as you have, off the pitch through whatever the future holds.
Ashleigh McIvor DeMerit & Family