Wednesday night was a pretty fun function on campus. The alumni association at CU puts together events where they bring back alums, and Wednesday's was with Jenny Simpson and Emma Coburn. Jenny graduated in 2009 and Emma graduated in 2013. And both are the first American Olympic medalists in their events: the 1500m and 3000m steeplechase. Their presentation was about what it took to get to the Olympics (presented by Jenny), and then what the competition was like (presented by Emma). Some fun points about Rio:
1) They got some pretty good swag from the Olympic committee, but since both are New Balance athletes, Nike is a competitor. They donated a lot of that gear after the Olympics.
2) They stayed in an apartment that was close to the US training base, which was at naval academy. The USOC even built the track new their own track at the facility, that was left behind so the naval academy can use it.
3) Their apartment overlooked the marathon course.
4) Track athletes are held in an on-call room so all athletes are accounted for prior to their event. Emma said there wasn't much room, and they're held there for 30 minutes, so she was around her rivals for that long before being brought out on the track.
5) Even though they stayed together in the apartment, once competition got under way, they didn't see each other that often, and the first time they saw each other after both medaled was at the Rio airport when they were flying to Paris for their next competition.
6) At the processing in Houston, where they got their swag, they also had to learn flag etiquette, how to manage the press if they medal, and safety on Zika. During the Q&A, they mentioned what foods they were told to avoid, and they said being in an apartment meant they could control what they ate. My dad reminded me Michael Johnson got food poisoning in Barcelona 1992 before his qualifying heats for the 200 m, and he failed to qualify for the final. You don't want to leave anything to chance.
7) Finally, Emma mentioned they were told to always pack their podium kit in case they medaled. I know athletes, including myself, consider that jinxing things, but the USOC always wants their athletes prepared.
(Pictures by Dad)
Friday Five 2.0 with Fairytales and Fitness and Running on Happy.