Between travel and racing this month, The Blueprint isn’t following it’s typical weekly schedule, but while I’m here in Rio I did want to share an inside look at life in the Olympic Village and my daily routine as I prepare for the Olympic 5000m next week.I am staying in a suite with four other athletes and sharing a room with Kate Grace. The vibe is very low key, and between training and competition schedules people just want to be able to rest when they are back in the suite. I am enjoying the opportunity to share this experience with Kate while also having a travel and meal companion throughout the day.
Each morning starts with breakfast in the dining hall at the Olympic village. Even though I have been to a Pan Games and an Olympic Games before, I am always struck by the enormity and diversity of the dining hall. It is a massive space, open 24 hours a day, and teeming with athletes and coaches from all the Olympic sports and from every corner of the world. The food options are also diverse as they try to cater to the array of tastes for a multi-cultural clientele. The options are divided into stations by region and so far my favorites are the Asian station and the Brazilian station.From breakfast we walk to the transport station where we board a bus that takes us to the Escola Naval base where the US Olympic Committee has set up a training center for US athletes. The facility covers the needs for several Olympic sports. For our purposes there is a brand new track, with a stunning view of Sugarloaf Mountain, along with a beautiful weight room and recovery room. Drew has access to the training facility as Kate and my personal coach, so we are able to meet him there for training. The set up has proven perfect for my final preparations for the 5000m.
The Escola Naval Base also has a cafeteria where we can finish practice with a delicious meal prepared by the USOC nutrition staff. After lunch we get back on the bus to return to the Olympic Village. The trip takes 45-60 minutes each way, so by the time we are back to our suite it is already around 3pm.The afternoon is spent with some downtime and body work. US Track and Field athletes are fortunate to have access to great medical team for chiropractic services, massage or any other issue that may arise. When I was in Houston I had an issue with a wisdom tooth that required me to have it pulled. I called the team doctor, Dr Mason, who was already in Rio, and he was able to line me up with a dentist office and oral surgeon in Houston right away to have it taken care of (thank you, Westfield Dental!!).
In the evening we return to the dining hall for dinner and spend time hanging out with other athletes. US Track and Field has a lounge set up in our building where athletes can relax, play video games, get snacks, and watch streams of all the Olympic sports. Now that track has begun we are most interested in watching our teammates compete, although there can be some tug-of-war over whether we watch the channel that streams field events or the channel that streams track events!I’m enjoying my time in Rio and in the village so far. The weather feels cool compared to Houston, but that means we did a good job to acclimating to the heat. Overall I feel like my adjustment to life here has been very smooth, and I can’t wait to get into the Olympic Stadium and race.