It’s Thursday and I have just been told that our race will be pushed back a day due to deteriorated course conditions. Whoever heard of a mtn bike race being postponed because it got muddy! Honestly though I feel good about it. We now get to race Saturday at 10 am. So the typical morning race, not afternoon. The men will go after us at 3.
I’m feeling good. Got onto the sleep schedule easily. Legs get another day to recover from travel, get another day to know the substantial course changes since last year and it’ll be a better calibre race without the mud.
So what are the Olympics like? Pretty rad. Keith and I took the 12 hour flight over on Monday and then I went off to the village as he met up with my parents and cousin Adrian at the airport. Our bus went through security screening to enter the village and then I went through security to get past bus drop off. A COC staffer was there to take me to Canada’s digs and point out the cafeteria, the international zone and some other stuff.
I had shipped a bike a couple weeks ago so got to go out for a 30 min spin before it was dark. I almost mowed down a couple people weaving through the village. After that it was supper, a massage and bed. I didn’t even unpack or check out any of my new gear. Oh and I saw Shawn Johnson the 16 year gymnast at dinner and she’s even smaller in person! Crazt to see the athlete’s live. I have to remember I don’t actually know them I’ve just been watching them on tv!
Woke up at 5am and then headed for breakfast at 6:30. The village was already alive with people out training and heading for breakfast. Some of the athletes that were done their events were just on their way to bed.
The cafeteria is open 24hrs/day. We can always get cereal, salad, Asian, Halal, Mediterranean and international cuisine. Oh yeah and Mcdonalds! It’s actually pretty popular…particularly when people have finished.
All the female cyclists are sharing an apartment. We each got our own room to help us sleep with the jetlag and focus for the upcoming race. My coach Dan is here in the village which has been fantastic and my Luna manager is set up for massage in walking distance from the venue. There’s a trek bike store that Oakley has set up as their cycling home. So I get to go there and grab unlimited drinks and food from their stash, get a massage and lounge about in a comfy air conditioned loft.
The village is definitely amazing. In Canada’s building we have an athlete’s lounge where we can get on the internet, make snacks, watch movies or Olympic coverage and just hang out. Across the hall we have a wellness centre where there are tons of yoga mats, a quiet reading room and a power nap room! The medical centre is staffed with chiros, physios, massage therapists and tubs for contrast bathing.
The village is huge and beautifully done. There are little gardens between the apartments with water moats, sculptures and lots of plants. In the international zone we can get our hair and nails done and go shopping, the cafeteria is big enough to feed thousands of athletes without any line ups. There’s a fitness centre for training and relaxing by the pool. There’s pretty much everything.
The atmosphere is great. Good, calm energy, the Chinese volunteers are very helpful and the air quality is supposed to be excellent with the rain. Although it looks really hazy it hasn’t affected me at all on the bike.
Bell has been an amazing sponsor. They supplied each athlete and staffer with a smartphone with unlimited text and email while in china, as well as 300 minutes of international calling. And we get to keep the phone! It’s been great for touching base with my family here. Unfortunately I actually feel cut off from what’s been happening in the non cycling parts of the Olympics. CBC online which was amazing for live coverage is unavailable here.
I actually feel totally calm here, like I belong and know what I’m doing. I don’t feel overwhelmed by it and the calibre of athletes here. We’re all good at what we do and this is our chance to show it. I’m looking forward to the race. Hopefully it’ll go smoothly for Marie, my Luna team mate Georgia and myself.
So Saturday 10 am in China…so 7pm Friday for BC folk and 11pm in NB. Oh and I have the number 4 plate. Last Olympic Champ Gunn Rita has the #1 plate, my team mate Marie #2, Germany’s Sabine Spitz #3.