When you watch someone skate, you think that you know them. In truth, the part that the public sees may not be who they are at all. At the very most in some cases, what you are seeing is the smallest sliver of what makes up a person. Success followed Gabrielle Daleman for a long time, including an Olympic team gold medal, two national titles and a world bronze medal. But an athlete's career is never easy — despite what it may look like on TV. Daleman's struggles over the course of this season are well documented, and at times, watching her skate has been hard. Not because the skating has been bad, but because of the toll that mental health struggles can take on a person. This personal journey has been very public for Daleman. Giving your all on the ice in performance can be risky at the best of times. You have to be strong and confident in this sport. As CBC's Scott Russell says, "Skating is unforgiving and there is nowhere to hide. Every failure is immediately apparent to everyone who's watching. Unlike a team sport, you can never take a shift off in figure skating. When you fail, everyone knows it." When I saw Daleman hit the ice at the world figure skating championships in Saitama, Japan for the short program, I will admit to feeling a little worried. I am always on the side of the skater and with my own risk-averse personality. Frankly, I am not sure I would have made the trip here if I were Gabby. That's the difference though between mere mortals and champions. A solid skate in the short program is what happened, and as Daleman breezed through the media mixed zone, she was every inch the confident and resolute athlete I have come to know. It gave me hope. She didn't even mind that the next skater beat her own season's best score and moved ahead of Daleman in the standings. It was a light moment and it was clear she has come a long way. Gripping illness There is a protective bubble around Daleman as people seek to find the most sensitive way to approach her. It is good to see the world stepping up in this way, as invisible wounds are not always taken into account during human interactions.