Sunday, September 7, 2008

Day One

This is going to be a short one again as my bed is calling my name. First let me say that opening ceremonies was incredible. Walking into the stadium, seeing the sold out crowd and trying to soak it all in, saying it was awesome is an understatement. We stayed for about 45 minutes after we got in there and since I was in a wheelchair we had amazing seats. I wish we could have stayed for the whole thing but we got out and back here by 11pm. It worked out well.

Today was the 100 fly. Unfortunately, I don't have any exciting news about my race to speak of. In fact it was quite the opposite but I'm putting it behind me. I have to say I was quite caught up in the moment of being here. Walking out to the starting area and seeing my 20 family and friends in the stands was one of the greatest moments I have experienced. I felt so lucky and so honored to have them all here. After the race I saw my time and was a bit disappointed that it wasn't a personal best. But seeing everyone up there cheering me on regardless of my time made it all OK. I got out of the pool and just tried to soak it all in. When I got back to my room it set in that I really really wished I had done better. Just to prove to myself that I could do it. I know I am capable of doing better, of doing a lot better, it just wasn't my day. Two more races to go... tomorrow the 100 free and then Friday is the big one, the 400 free. They will both be better than today.

Again, I can't name names but my teammates tonight did outstanding. I was so proud to be a teammate and part of the USA. Since I didn't make finals I was up in the stands and screamed my head off. World records were set, national anthems were played and amazing things happened. It was awesome.

ALong with the success of my teammates, the highlight of my day was seeing my family and friends at the cube. They came in before finals and I got to talk with them for about a half hour. Many much needed hugs were had and I'm looking forward to seeing them tomorrow. The 20 of them are the greatest cheering section in there. At least to me they are. They have flags and signs and shirts and banners. They are amazing.

Time for bed now. It's late and tomorrow is another early morning.


Again, I can't name names here but my teammates


Chuck said...


My wife and I are friends of Gavin and Amanda. I too am a vfw w/2 PHs and have been following your story from when you deployed to Iraq.

Even though we have never met, I am so proud of you. I believe in you and He who is in you!

The results are already won!

Beth said...

Congratulations, Melissa, on being in Beijing! I hope you continue to have a wonderful time - whether you advance to finals or not. One of our friends, Marin Morrison, didn't advance to finals in her first race either. Victorious battles are being fought (and won) all the same. I don't know if you are aware that Marin has a blog, too...her father wrote a most inspirational reflection on her race...

Swim strong, enjoy the race. It's been fun to hear your view behind the scenes. Thank you.

Ann&Bob said...

Go Melissa- we are behind you all the way. I just get chills reading your postings. You are amazing! Your spirit resonerates(sp?) throught out. So very proud of you and your accomplishments.


Jenny said...

I'm sure you'll make it tomorrow. I'll be watching.
Smoke that race, maam! HOOAH!? LOL

"Winning isn't always finishing first, sometimes winning is just finishing" Manuel Diotto

Heather said...

Hey there cousin,

I am so proud of you and honored to say that you are family!!! Stay strong and know that there are many prayers being said for you and your team mates.

Lots of love,

K & T said...

Melissa, Today was a tough one physically, emotionally and mentally. But now you have one race under your belt Although now have an advantage because you know what to expect. You got your "ish-ies" out as we used to say back in the day! Tomorrow have fun, push yourself the best you can and don't forget you've already won one thing... Being an Olympian representing the USA!! Love you, Katie