As the first week of the Olympics wraps, it’s tough to believe that it’s the last Games we will attend as a family. Michael has said he will take Mom to Rio, so they can watch the races of 2016 together. But this is the last one all together. And while it still hasn’t hit us, it will the next few weeks.
After every Olympics, there is a time of depression. Mostly for the athletes, where for four years they’ve worked hard to compete at the highest level and then it drops off to nothing. Training starts back up for those who are competing another four years and life goes back to normal. No magazine write-ups, commercials or photo shoots (for most). Similar to a roller coaster, the athlete climbs his way to the top. Excited because you’re almost there, almost there, almost there… and then Whoosh! Down the hill you go, the exhilaration of competition and performance is exciting and inspiring. But then you’re back to making the climb and stating from the bottom. And it’s tough.
For the families, the excitement of seeing their loved ones achieve lifelong goals is awesome. You’re proud of them. You’ve been on the other end of the phone when there’s a tough day and you’ve watched them do great things; you’ve been on the roller coaster with them. You’ve walked around the streets of a foreign country and experienced great adventures. You come home with funny antidotes about your travels that you share with friends and co-workers. Then, you return to work and go about your normal day, as if the past week was an exciting dream. It’s an odd few weeks during the Post Olympic letdown.
After Michael’s race last night, we went off to the London Eye, a massive ferris wheel overlooking the Themes River. Made up of large pods, which can hold upwards of 20 people, the London Eye was built-in 2000 and takes a full 30 minutes to complete the turn. While high up in the sky we saw Olympic Park, Beach Volleyball, Parliament and Big Ben. I have to say, it’s really high up and not for someone who has a fear of heights.
Tonight, we are headed to the pool for one last race. The individual win in the 100 fly was awesome. Michael is now the defending champion in the 200 IM and the 100 Butterfly for the past three Olympic Games — the first man to defend his title three times in two separate races. Incredible.
Today is a day full of sightseeing. There are things that we want to do together that we’re going to do before tonight’s final swim. We have had some exciting adventures — yesterday taking my 6-year old niece to Hamley’s, a toy store with six-floors of anything one can imagine! After her adventure, my sister and I found the lovely chocolate shop at Liberty. We each bought British made chocolate to take back for friends. I was told the violet was the Queen Mum’s favorite!