Adam Is blogging on CBC – he also missed the opening ceremony last night.
I’m watching the opening ceremony on TV
The opening ceremony is a quintessential part of the Olympic Games. Performances are incredibly artistic and entertaining, and the different countries’ outfits are fun to comment on. I am sure the energy of the crowd in the Bird’s Nest stadium in Beijing will be larger than the explosive fireworks in the sky – especially when the Chinese walk into the arena.
What is it like to be part of this grand show? How does it feel to be the subject of the crowd’s cheers? Unfortunately, I will never know, because my first race is on Aug. 10.
There are some 10,500 athletes competing at these Games and it takes an incredible amount of herding and organizing to make sure everyone walks in at their allotted time.
The event takes over 12 hours and involves a lot of standing, when you count waiting for buses, busing to the venue, waiting outside the stadium, walking into the stadium, standing through the festivities, waiting for buses, busing home.
Athletes leave for this logistical nightmare at 1 p.m. (for a 8:08:08 pm start) and do not get back until 1 or 2 in the morning.
From experience, the sleep you have two nights before a big race is the most important, and the opening ceremony would seriously cut into my 9.30 p.m. bedtime. Also, the standing and mulling about can be just as tiring as a day of training. The event saps energy and takes the power out of your legs.
When I hear all of the discussion about the “curse of the flag-bearer” – how the flag-bearer doesn’t perform to expectations in his or her events – I think about the exhausting day of the opening ceremony. Luckily, Adam van Koeverden competes in the second half of the Games and has a week to recover from his flag-bearing duty.
Let’s hope he can deal positively with the extra stresses, pressures and expectations that come with the job. I am happy with the choice of staying at my hotel and watching the opening ceremony on TV with my teammates. We are staying close to the rowing course and away from the Olympic village, another choice to improve the quality of race preparation.
I have spent the past year dedicating every day to achieving a top performance at the Games. This is just another step towards achieving my top performance.