As I was INSTRUCTED to do … here is my “postcard”!!!
(Just kidding - I would LOVE to let you know my feelings, those of the athletes, etc every day. The only problem … to get time to do it.)
It was a very long flight to Australia - from our departure, with a 9 hours difference between my country and Australia, and a connecting flight from Sydney. We left Sunday afternoon/early evening 18:00, we came in the Village about 21:00 on Monday. The athletes struggled at first to adapt to the time difference AND to get rid of the jet lag. My experience with my own athlete was to get him on the track as soon as possible, without expecting too much. We have started with tempo work, worked it gradually up to a hard session (at high intensity) later on.
Other athletes in our team - according to the programmes that their coaches gave them - had to REST (passive/active … I don’t know). They struggled even longer.
To be a TEAM coach is difficult in the sense that you MAY NOT change the programme of other athletes. You are suppose to follow it exactly, and to only assist the athlete. Some coaches are TRAINING their athletes a few days before the “big meet” … 3 x 300 (4’ rest) at full speed, etc, etc. Even two hard sessions per day - they told me, to prepare them for different rounds on one day. NOW??? No further comment!!
My experience in the Village and of the organisation of the Aussies … INCREDIBLE!!! Everything new - from the bedding to the washing machines, the towels to the TV’s. FANTASTIC everywhere!! I don’t have enough words to describe everything here. The food … to die for! (Another side of their planning … to let the athletes of the other countries gain extra kilo’s!!!) I really don’t know how I will be able to go back to normal “home duties” in 2 weeks time, where I will be the one deciding what and when to prepare meals!!!
Housekeeping - the first day, as I was brought up, I made my own bed … just to hear - “Please don’t do it, we LOVE to do it FOR YOU every day”!!! What will I do back home!!!
The opening ceremony was AWESOME!! With the Aussie precise arrangements, there was a plan for every minute (second) of the procedures. I do hope you were in the position to watch on TV.
The people are SO friendly - asking how you are, and if they can help you, a hundred times per day. Wishing you good luck along the way to the opening ceremony - where else do you find this?
The only problems that we have experienced up to now, is that they have struggled to fix the computers for about 3 or 4 days. Technical problems due to the overloading of the network or something like that. Frustrating at first, but no big deal. Further more, one bus driver who did not know the way to Olympic Park … in stead of about 30’ to the track, we took 1 hour 15 minutes!!! But we have seen a lot - maybe my only “city tour” that I will have time for!!!
About my own athlete - his mind is ready to go. My only concern at this stage is, the problems that we had with “niggles” at times that we could not afford it. But that is part of athletics. We will certainly put a 100% effort in EVERY race - from the attitude to the effort. He LOVES attention - and what else can you call the 80 000 or 90 000+ people who will watch???!!!
If you have specific questions, feel free to ask.
If you wonder about my positive attitude - take into consideration that I was never at an Olympics OR CWG before. I still enjoy all the privileges of being here and be part of a team management. Furthermore, I find the Aussies a very proud nation - in everything that they do - and I admire that. It will be EASY to move here!!! (Anyone of the Government reading this and wanting to offer me a job!!!)
Talk tomorrow with you again!