|Asian station at the dining hall|
Oh…we are done. I am packed and ready to leave. the last 24 hrs have passed with mixed feelings. Some with relief and others with curiosity about the sadness in my chest. I have gone for a few walks around the Olympic Park to let it all sink in a bit more and reflect on this experience from an outsider, insider, and observer of those in the middle. Despite the disappointments, there was glory. Each of our athletes made it here. This road is long and once here, they are never the same again. Once an Olympian…always an Olympian. But life continues, also for Olympians. Some go on with competitions, others contemplate about the future. There are some taking on the academic route and others waiting to decide. I am really happy about all but really happiest when I see the spark in the eyes of those wanting to try again. Perhaps the Olympic experience triggers something deep that no word cup can do. Looking across sports and nationalities, for some, these were the last Olympics and one in particular stood out to me and this was the Korean figure skater Kim who won silver. She said, I am now free…While it resonate much with what I can feel when I heard her say this, there was a sadness about it. Sport on this level requires so much dedication and a lot of sacrifice. Training plans surround the athletes every day and there are no holidays…or perhaps very few. When others go out, athletes stay in (at least most of the time). When others sleep in, athletes get up. When others eat junk, athletes think twice (at least some do). The life of an athlete can be confinement, lack of freedom, pressure. But there is also a liberation when these athletes perform in their sport. There is no multitasking at the time of perfection. There is only movement, synchronicity, speed, breath, timing, edging, drag…and that is freedom. For each, the experience is different and at least now, we all know there is a pumping heart filled with memories (good and bad) in each of the 2014 Sochi Winter Games Olympians.
Sochi 2014 is now turning to athletes with disabilities and opens its doors to the Paralympics.
While my job here is now done, other sport dietitians are arriving in the support of Paralympic athletes.
For me, it is now time for LIFE AFTER SOCHI. It seems that I have been anticipating this moment for the past 2 years.
But what an experience and what a chance to witness these Olympic Games, safely and without illness and great food.
Safe Travels. See you all when I am back in Colorado.
I will definitely give you the scoop of the final few days from the sports dietitian’s view but now I must sleep for 2 hours before we leave at 2.20AM for our 5 AM charter flight to Munich. I then transfer to United and fly on with arrival on Tuesday evening in Colorado Springs.