Today, as a fan of sports, was one that I will not soon forget. When we bought our tickets, we only had a general idea of the event, not who would be participating. We wanted to see Phelps in a final but when the scheduled was released we realized that we would only see some heats. Stilll happy with our tickets, we took a metro train and a bus to the Olympic Park located in Barra.
On the train, I struck up a coversation with Dave and Kathy from Australia. One of the first questions posed was what I thought of American politics. I informed them that neither of them truly represent the American people. Dave, pro Trump and Kathy, a Clinton supporter, began to argue about who was the better candidate. They aren’t even Americans and they’re fighting! After we began to laugh about the divisive nature of American politics, they gave Jen and I a koala bear toy.
The Olympic park was expansive and a dizzying array of cultures and languages.
Once settled in the second to last row of the Olympic Aquatic Center, we enjoyed the various men and womens swim heats. A cheer went up when Ledecki dove in for the 800m freestyle heat. Early on she pulled away and was cruising. At the 500 m mark, the announcer stated she had a chance at the Olympic record. With 50 m left, it appeared that she wouldn’t do it as there was no motivation to pick up speed as every other contender was in her wake. But then it happened, or the clock slowed.She hit the wall with plenty of time to spare. The crowd erupted. I never expected to see a record setting performance in a preliminary heat! Next up was Phelps in the 100 m butterfly. He finished second but I turned to Jen and said, “we just saw a record breaking performance and the most decorated Olympian ever. Not bad.” I had chills.
Ledecki’s Olympic record swim