I was happy with how my pre-Olympic races went. I ran a mile at the Cork City Sports International Meet, coming 1st in 4:31.78 and an 800m at the Morton Pre Games, coming 4th in 2:04.53. Both were personal best times, which of course was encouraging. I have been spending most of my time in Cardiff, where I have enjoyed running in a gorgeous park right across the road from my hotel, eating yummy food at the many cafes nearby, and enjoying the sites which include castles dating back to 55AD. The NZ support team here has been amazing and I couldn’t have wished for a better place to be, leading up to the Olympics.
Entering the Olympic village for the first time was very exciting! The NZ team welcomed us with a Haka (a traditional Maori welcome) and we were all presented with a Pounamu (a genuine Maori greenstone necklace). Both of these things instantly made me feel like I was apart of something very unique. When I arrived up to my room, a massive bag was waiting for me…I have never been given so much stuff before...it was like having my birthday and Christmas all at once! The atmosphere around the village is awesome and it is cool to see all the different uniforms and flags flying high. The food hall is insane…it sure is a weird thing to just grab what you want and not have to pay for any of it. To say I feel spoilt would be an understatement.
My favorite part of this whole experience, so far, would have to be walking into the Olympic stadium, with the New Zealand team, during the opening ceremony. Being dressed in the NZ uniform, with Nick Willis holding the NZ flag proudly in front of us, I couldn’t have been more excited. Standing right next to the Olympic flame when it was being lit was also a moment I will never forget and getting a photo with Ryan Seacrest just added some extra craziness to the night.
I have been back in Cardiff for the past few days, just training and chilling out, and we are heading back into the village tomorrow. I can’t wait to see all my friends and family who are arriving in London to support me! I feel absolutely blessed by the amount of support from everyone in NZ and the U.S., so thank you! As I step into the Olympic stadium on the morning of the 6th, ready to run my best “I will go in the strength of the Lord” Psalm 71:16. I can’t wait for that moment and look forward to sharing every little detail of the experience with you later!