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Outside the Velodrome at the BMX

Blog Update: The Village

Our apartment was on level seven of the NZ team tower in the Village. There were five apartments on our floor, and seven of us shared our apartment. We had a small lounge with live streaming channels from the different venues… a challenge for the person holding the remote! It was hard watching sometimes, I’d get so excited and a bit nervous for the kiwis competing. I could only watch a little on my race days.

I used the village gym a couple of times. I was doing my stretches in the stretching room and was joined by a few gymnasts… There was a mutual understanding that we were from different sports… there is no way I would even attempt their stretches. When I was all finished racing I went for a jog around the village with our video analyst, and found we were going the same pace as the walkers! Surely this could only happen at the Olympics.

The food hall was a 400m walk from our apartment tower. Inside there were many different cuisines – Asian, Mediterranean, British, European, African, etc.... I always knew what I wanted to eat before entering the food hall so I didn’t get distracted by more appealing choices. Before racing this was usually a bowl of rice, a portion of meat, and some plain vegetables or a salad.

At meal times it was interesting sitting in the food hall ‘people watching’, there were athletes of all shapes and sizes, we’d have fun trying to guess their sporting discipline. Another dining option was the ‘Street Food’ outdoor area, which offered BBQ, wraps, salads, berries, nuts, baking treats and ice cream. I can now understand why the food variety at the Olympics can be dangerous! It would be easy to go for the free McDonalds in the food hall with the cash registers at the counter always displaying $0, and the staff asking ‘anything else?’ ‘Is that all?’

The living environment at the Olympics catered for people from different countries, with different requirements, but in reality you just stick to what you usually do... even if it means walking to the other side of the food hall!

I’m not sure whether it’s the level of racing, the history, team environment, or the awesome support… but there’s that Olympic spirit that gets you excited and sucks you in. I think people back home feel it too. It’s an honour to be part of it.

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