So much has been happening that I want to report on and I’m falling behind so quickly…ahhhh! In a nutshell the Opening Ceremonies were a special moment that I will never forget. I was jumping around all giddy and happy and felt like a little kid on Christmas before we had to get dressed up. It took 60min to get ready, not because I was being all girly but because I blew a fuse when I plugged in my hairdryer so had to take time to find someone to tell me where the circuit box was so I could flip the switch…whups! After that it was all smooth sailing. My refitted ceremony outfit fit great and while we felt slightly ridiculous being ahtletes and all, most at home in our athletic clothes, we did look sharp as a group!
Around 8:45 local time we went down infront of the USA block in the Village and took pictures. Then about an hour later we began our 1.1km walk to the Olympic Stadium. The walk was long, not because of the actual distance but rather because we had to keep stopping and taking long pauses. When we began the walk everyone sprinted out and was jostling for position, mainly to get in the front row in hopes of making it on TV. I was content strolling behind…that was until people began to imitate race walking to get up to the front. Oh boy I was not going to sit in the back of the pack now, I decided to show them how race walking was really done and sprinted right up to the front line, and that was where I stayed until 5 min before walking onto the track. It was a lot of work to hold my coveted front line position and all of us had our arms locked so that we wouldn’t get bumped back. What we didn’t realize was that since the flag bearer was a fencer, that the fencing team would get to stand in the front line directly behind her. In the end it was okay, because we had a lot of laughs getting up there and my face still made it on tv. I don’t think one person had clean white unscuffed shoes by the time they stepped foot on the track. Oh well we still looked stunning!
The biggest rush for me was moments before we stepped onto the track, when I caught my first glimpse into the stadium. It was so exhilerating and I was beaming inside and out with a smile. The crowd broke out in a roar as we were announced and then it was a blur of cheers,waves, smiles, and rooting! U!S!A!
Since the march is alaphbetical by host country language the United States of America appears at the very end. I unfortunately missed the entire theatrics earlier on during the ceremony but know it’s been recorded at home waiting for me. I did get to watch the swearing of the Olympic Oath, and the torch relay and lighting live. As an athlete I was able to get right up to the torch, and of course did! All that was missing was some marshmellows because the heat was intense!
I was a little let down at the end that the torch has to be moved after the ceremonies since it was lit and came together smack in the center of the track infield. We kept expecting something more to happen, that it would rise, or initially that the abstract art huge observation tower would light up and was actually the torch. Guess the Brits were denying those rumors for a reason.
Oh well it was still an incredible experience and the amount of pride I felt marching out behind our Country’s Flag is immeasurable! I was and still am honored to represent our country: The United States of America, here at the greatest athletic competition in the world: The Olympic Games!
For more pictures from the ceremony checkout my Facebook page!