A few memories

Hello Champs,

I apologize for not keeping the entries rolling while in London. With all the excitement, and the lack of consistent wifi, I had a tough time keeping up.

Let’s try to get on track.

 

A few memories from the games

When it hit me

The first full day we had in London, Shannon and I decided to do as much sight-seeing as we could. The first stop was Buckingham Palace. We didn’t realize that the palace was the location of one of the sports, the race-walk. Now I am sure a lot of you just read the sport and laughed while you did. The race-walk has always been the curling of the summer games. The idea of walking fast, hips popping left and right, is one the leaves many to scratch their heads. I had the exact same feeling… until I saw it in person… at the Olympic Games.

As Shannon and I got closer to the course, the noise grew. The course barricades were covered in vinyl, and each time walkers passed, the fans would bang on the vinyl and cheer the racers on. Just being there, hearing and feeling that excitement, was exhilarating. The thought ‘I cannot believe I am at the Olympics’ ran through my head on a loop.

 

 

The venues

To call any one of the competition arenas a venue does not do it justice. They were cathedrals. Each one was simple, yet perfect. And each one awe-inspiring.

And my true favorite…

After the pentathlon finished, Suzanne came up into the stands to see all of us in her cheering section. As soon as she emerged from the tunnel leading to the stands, everyone (not just us) turned. She came down, hugged everyone, and shared with us the excitement of the day. Two things come into play here. One, watching the five sports of the pentathlon on tv does not do it justice. We spent the entire day riding a wave of emotions, from wins in the fencing, to watching Suzanne ride a horse that didn’t cooperate, to the staggered start on the run/shoot. You are there, experiencing it all. Second, as a coach you have a connection, you are invested. When an athlete you work with finds success or disappointment, you feel it. When an athlete you work with competes in the Olympic Games, you feel it so much more. As we are talking with Suzanne, and showering her with pride, I could see over Suzanne’s shoulder a little girl standing still. She was patiently waiting, with pen and paper, for Suzanne to turn to ask for an autograph. She wasn’t the only one to ask for an autograph or a picture, but because she was the first that day, in the excitement of everything, I felt like I swallowed a golf ball.

 

 

And that is it for now.

Jeff

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