This is going to have to be a mini-series of posts. I hit the ground running (no pun intended) when I got back to Australia, so there was not much spare time to recap my Olympic experience. I’ll break it down into sections so you can quickly determine if you want to read today’s edition. Hopefully I will get it done quick enough for you folks.
I arrived in the Olympic Village on the 5th August, one week before my race. It was quite a change coming into London from Tonbridge. Tonbridge was more like home with how busy it was and what you could do. London, on the other hand, was so full on and busy, it was actually quite annoying. I was very impressed with what was waiting in the Village for me. It was fantastic, and aside from having to show my accreditation many many times when entering and leaving the village, everything was great. It had a nice green park for relaxing. It was a good area to sit and relax, and there is much to do to past the time outside the dining hall or apartment.
In the village, I shared a room with Chris Erickson (20km Walk). My other housemates were Nathan Deakes (50km Walk), Adam Rutter (20km Walk), my marathon team mates Martin Dent and Michael Shelley, and two of the 5000m trio in Craig Mottram and David McNeill. It was very “cosy” and basic apartment, but still nice living quarters. We all get on really well, so it meant that apartment living was good.
It was really easy to get in and out of the village, venturing out to Westfields became a regular occurrence after the discovery of Grind Coffee. It seemed to be the meeting place for pretty much every Australian athlete and their family. It helped when they made good coffee, unlike the rubbish being served in the village. There were no proper espresso machines (all were automatic and made watery, bitter coffee) in the village, and that was a killer. The good thing is that it kinda forced me to leave the village to get a decent coffee. And by heading out to get coffee, I regularly met up with Heidi. It made it easier to be in a place I am not used to, with a routine I am not used to.
The biggest plus of living in the village was not having to think about what to cook. I could just rock into the dining hall, wander around and choose any kind of cuisine. It was a wonderful change from home, and I also didn’t have to clean up…. especially if I won my way out in the scissors, paper, rock battles we had. I win, someone else takes up my dishes. I lose, I could end up taking up 12 people’s… I lost once!
Well, enough of this rambling… part 2 will begin soon.