Taking It All In
The days after the race were quite a whirlwind. I wanted to see as many events as I possibly could. After my race, we took a taxi down to the famous water cube to see diving (men’s 3 meter springboard prelims). After the men’s race, we went to see synchronized swimming and then headed back for the triathlon party. Wednesday was packed, with BMX in the morning, followed by viewing the Athlete Village, having a burger at the USA House and then headed to the Olympic Stadium for a night of track and field.
BMX was an awesome event and I think it is a great addition to the Olympics. It was incredible to see eight guys race on the dirt track all at once. A crash was very likely each lap, which kept fans on their toes. Watching the cyclists’ explosive power on the cranks to fly over the jumps was very impressive. The three American men and one woman did very well. Although, one of the men crashed on his last quarterfinal, he still had enough points to move onto the semis. At the start of the run, another competitor took him out on the turn and he went down hard. He dislocated his shoulder, but the doctor popped it back in place on the spot and he was able to get back on his bike and finish the lap so that he could still get into finals…..insane? crazy? Incredible
The track and field stadium was massive and breathtaking. The design of the famous birds nest was unique. The stadium can hold up to 91,000 spectators…I have never been inside anything larger. We got to see 5000 meter prelims (two American men advanced), 200 meter final (Michael Johnson’s world record broken, with a time of 19.30), women’s hammer throw, 110 men’s hurdles prelims, women’s 200 meter semi-finals. It was an exciting night and a long, but eventful day. We got back to the hotel around 11:30 and hit the sack as Nate and I were departing in the morning back to the States.
It was great to share the experience with my family members, as they attended the events with me and Nate. My family will be spending the next couple of days seeing the Great Wall and viewing a few more events. They were such huge supporters leading up to the race and throughout. I wouldn’t be where I am today without their support.
I had wonderful support from USAT staff as well, not only in China, but leading up to the Games in California and Korea. Katie Baker made sure we had our travel arranged, created a slide show for us, and put posters up on our doors in Korea. Jeff made sure our bikes were in working order, while Diana was able to give up pre-race massage treatment in China. Dr. Keith was able to be with us in Korea and China and work his magic on any ailments the athletes were having. Sharon and Andy were coaches for the Olympic Team and were there for us if we needed to get to a training session, mental preparation, or anything we needed. Bobby McGee was able to help with my run form and mental skills. Scott was there making sure everything was under control and working behind the scenes to make sure everything was running smoothly. Bob was a making sure the food we were eating was not going to get us sick, while also monitoring our hydration. He has been helping me prepare for the past three months with workouts, mental skills, and always there to help.
USA athletes have been so lucky to have such wonderful support staff and I could not be more thankful for all the effort that is put forth to make sure we have everything we need as athletes. Thank you!
Currently, I am flying back on the plane (was able to be bumped up to business class!!). I took a nice nap at the beginning of the flight and hoping that is enough to get me through the day of travel ahead of me. I am off to Chicago first thing on Friday morning to work with Toyota at the expo for the Chicago triathlon. I am not planning on racing, but looking forward to finishing up the remainder of the season strong. My next race is Elite Nationals in Portland, Oregon on September 20th, followed by the Dallas Triathlon on October 5th and finally an ITU World Cup in Mexico on October 26th.