Well I was on the plane home and started typing some of my favorite moments so I could blog later about it all. But it got so long that I think I’m just going to put the bullet points in as is. Hopefully it makes some sense to those that read this, but it will mostly serve as a journal entry for me. What an experience the Olympics was for me!
Brazil match is a bit hard to write about. I felt like we played well and I had a feeling the whole match that we were going to pull out a win, if we could just stay steady. We’ve done it before against them where when we don’t go away and put them away late in the match. But Emmanuel made some really big plays in the end of each game that got them the win. They played great sideout volleyball on top of that. It’s a tough match to think about but we gave it everything we had and that’s all I can ask of myself and Sean.
-My brother John, chanting “Megua” and Chineses people responding “Jai Yo”
-Chris my sister in law picture in her blue hair. Normally pretty conservative, which made this pic even better. What a peach!
-Dad staying up at night working out the brackets.
-Family dinners at Hilton. I ate out once with the fam and it seemed a bit sketchy after the treatment I got at the Hilton.
-Fam’s attitude about the whole thing. They had the time of their lives and you’d never know they stayed 11 people in one 3 bedroom apartment. Never complained, instead had a ton of fun and let me do my thing during the tournament and then I got to hang out with them after the tourney was over. They couldn’t have been any cooler.
-Meeting the fam after every match by the front scoreboard.
-Seeing the fam front row for my first match in the pouring rain. My favorite pic from the whole Olympics is this one of bros John n Dale holding American flag and cheering in the down pour.
-Team huddle before each match. Mike Dodd would call us in and give us powerful words leading in to each match.
-Walking out to stadium court from the players hall waiting area. My heart would race and butterflies galore each time. The toughest part of losing was not being able to run out just one more time on to center court. What a feeling of excitement! Something I’ll never be able to describe, but will always cherish.
-Kelly’s (our Physical Therapist) fives, actually we “blew up the rock”, before each match. She’s very superstitious and had to do it before each match because we won our first doing so. Kelly took such great care of Sean and I during the last 2 years. She was an essential part of the team. She saw us twice a week in our homes and traveled to almost all World Tour events. Thanks for keeping us healthy girl!
-Shopping was more fun then I ever expected. Bargaining for price is expected. I bought 4 shoes, 2 belts, 1 tailor made suit, 3 tailor made shirts, 3 ties, 2 t shirts, and 4 pairs of jeans. More shopping than I’ve done in 3 years.
-Great Wall of China was incredible! We took a ski lift up and an Alpine Slide down.
-Walking around Olympic village and trying to guess each athletes sport
-Sneaking through security with Rosie’s credential right after he had used it because I’d left mine at the hotel.
-Realizing I’d forgotten my hats before my last match. Al Lau got em for me.
-Heather Cox from NBC said there was a shot of one of Rosie’s Raiders offering my Dad a beer. I giggle just at the thought of that. My Dad politely said no.
-Mike Dodd starting the “USA Jai Yo!” chant in the van after our wins. We celebrated after each of our 4 wins like we had just won the Super Bowl. Sooo fun!
-We had 2 drivers that didn’t speak a lick of English and drove like they were in a game of Frogger.
-I got a 1 hr Chinese massage for $12.
-Getting PT work from Kelly with Venus and Serena Williams getting work done right next to me. I chatted it up with a Bryan brother from the #1 doubles team in tennis. I didn’t know who he was and at the end of talking I asked when he played and what seed they were?? #1 he says. What a dork I am!
-Watching Phil n Todd and Misty n Kerri all win gold! What a cool experience to be there and watch them both play so well. Great accomplishment for USA Beach Volleyball.
-Having Geeter there to emcee all my matches. I felt like we had a little home court advantage having him there with us.
-Meeting President Bush twice in 2 days. I got to talk with him for a bit on the sand. Surreal!
-Sean Rosenthal my partner. Great friend and volleyball partner. I spend more time with Sean than my wife Jane. I hope to play with him for a long time.
-Mike Dodd our coach. Mike is the glue that holds our team together. Great coach and a better friend.
-Marcus Elliott my strength coach. He has worked with me since the end of 2004. I feel the best physically I’ve ever felt in my life because of his workouts. He always sends great energy my way, which is why I love the guy most. Let’s keep it going.
-Ryan Morgan my agent. Ryan gives me freedom to just focus on volleyball because I don’t have to have a second job.