It is the night of the Opening Ceremonies of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. The draw for our Heats came out yesterday afternoon. Tomorrow morning at 11:10am local (10:10am EST), we’ll line up against Poland, China, and Belarus.
Shit just got very real and the Olympics are about to begin.
We have been in Rio for a week now, training and preparing for our competition which begins tomorrow. Although this is my first Olympics, I can honestly say I haven’t found myself overwhelmed or too caught up in the immensity of it. Don’t get me wrong, I am of course in awe of being at the Olympic Games and achieving this dream. The fact that we begin our competition the day after Opening Ceremonies demands a certain level of “all business” attitude. Don’t worry, I am loving every minute of it and trying to capture as much of the experience as I can. I have even let a few tears drop as I’ve read the unbelievably touching emails and notes of support that friends, family, and strangers have sent me, reminding me of how far I’ve come and what it took to get here. Those words people have shared with me, said to me, and given to me, more than anything else, have been what has made this journey incredible.
As with any big competition in a new place, the past week has been focused on establishing a routine, recovering from travel and getting enough sleep, figuring out what food I like to eat, the transportation system, and just going with the flow as the inevitable hiccups pop up here and there.
We got our last practice rows in this morning. Now the fun begins. Most rowers don’t walk in Opening Ceremonies because we are the first week of competition, and as I just mentioned, we compete first thing in the morning. We still dressed up to be with our fellow United States teammates in spirit. It just means the Closing Ceremonies will have to be twice the party.
It’s been several years put into making this day become a reality. So, here we go. Let the Games begin.
Every Day Counts.