Wow! Today has been crazy! Our flight took off last night at 6:20pm and landed in London at 6:30am. As soon as we landed, we were greeted by special LOCOG (London Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games) volunteers who were really amazing and led us to our first step of accreditation — getting our IDs. These IDs are very important because they are the passes that will get us into all of the villages and venues that we need access to for competition. Then we had our own special customs line (felt pretty cool to cut the line) and off we went, headed to the Satellite Rowing Village to drop off our luggage.
The trip to the Rowing Village was surprisingly quick…only about 20 minutes from the airport. Once we were there, we all went through security and were brought to our rooms. The accommodations are great! We are set up in suites of eight, but we each have our own bedrooms (with queen sized beds) and bathrooms! From there, we all took quick showers, headed to breakfast, and then loaded back onto the bus to go to the main Olympic Village for more processing.
The trip from the Rowing village to the main Olympic village took about 90 minutes. Once we arrived at the processing site, we were given check-lists with all the stops we had to make. First off — Ralph Lauren! There we were fitted for our Opening and Closing ceremony outfits, and then everyone had adjustments made so that the outfits could be tailored just right. Everyone looked spectacular! The dresses and hats were definitely fun to play around in.
The rest of the processing included taking head shots, being sized for our Olympic rings, picking up toiletries from P&G, choosing Oakley sunglasses, but mostly, trying on the rest of our Nike and Ralph Lauren package! The plan was to try and make the whole trip take 2 hours…it took 4! There was SO much amazing gear from Nike and RL that it took a while to try everything on and make sure it fit. Then we had to quickly decide what we wanted to send back to the U.S. in a complimentary box. I don’t even remember what exactly I sent home, but when I arrived back in the Rowing village after the whole ordeal, I STILL had a ton of gear. The picture in my slideshow of the gear on my bed is less than half of what we received today. It was INSANE! I feel like I will need a completely separate Olympic closet when I get home in order to accommodate my new wardrobe. My partner Sarah and I kept getting comments from the volunteers at processing regarding the giant smiles and glow we had during the whole process. I guess it’s pretty obvious when you’re a first time Olympian and everything is ridiculously new and exciting.
When we did finally get back to the Rowing village, there was something waiting for us in our rooms…it was a letter that we had written to ourselves during a meeting we had with the USOC back in January. In that meeting, we were supposed to write our future selves a letter assuming we had made it to the Olympics. Reading it now was a great surprise and really inspiring…my pre-Olympic self was pretty insightful. I won’t share the whole letter, but my favorite line to myself was…
“Let the best version of yourself shine through during this upcoming week, because it is a week you will remember forever.”
So true, and I can’t wait to be that version! Also, I signed it, “Past, nerdy Sara”. Yeah right, like I’m not nerdy anymore.
Enjoy the pictures below, and hopefully I will be able to write tomorrow with updates on the course!
Make it rain,