Upcoming events –

Napa-Sonoma Half Marathon, July 20, 2014
Noble Canyon 50km Trail, September 20, 2014

Thursday, September 14, 2000

Olympic Village, Sydney!

Oh my goodness, I am here inside the Olympic Village!

Under cover of darkness, two of my racewalk teammates and I made it into the Village. We were met at the Sydney airport by an official Olympic escort who ushered us on to a waiting charter bus. All three of us, and one 4x400 relay runner from Ireland, rode the huge bus through the darkened streets of Sydney to the Olympic Village.

Once we arrived, we were asked to wait on the bus while our bags were unloaded and sniffed carefully by a team of drug-sniffing dogs. We cleared the first checkpoint and were escorted into the second security check. All of our luggage was sent through an X-ray machine, like the ones you see at the airport. We had to walk through the metal detectors.

Then we were loaded onto another, smaller bus that would take us the 5 minutes to the Olympic Village itself. Several athletes from Belgium and Germany joined us for the short ride. At the entrance to the Village, we were stopped again and a uniformed police officer stepped onto the bus to check our credentials. Everyone was cleared... except the bus driver!! He was told he could not enter the Olympic Village because he was missing the necessary OLV on his Accreditation Card. The truck that was following us with our luggage had an extra driver who jumped in and chauffered us the rest of the way.

Once inside the Village, we were confronted with a suburban maze. All the houses look identical and, at night, are only distinguished by dimly lit national flags hanging from balconies and out windows. There were a few street names and complex numbers visible but only when there was a well-placed street lamp nearby.

After a tour of the neighborhood, we were able to locate the German then American areas. I have just dumped my bags in my room that I will be sharing with Tony Cosey, U.S. steeplechaser, and Curt Clausen, one of my 50K racewalk teammates. It's much too late for me to be up typing emails from the nearby athlete lounge, but I don't know that I am going to sleep real well. Afterall, I'm in the Olympic Village! I must really be an Olympian. How cool is that?! Wow!

Tomorrow is the Opening Ceremonies and I need my rest, so off I go. Once you get into your rooms and don't realize where you are, all of the bedspreads have huge "Sydney 2000" logos on them.

Sweet Olympic Dreams!



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