Friday after practice we got all of our Speedo outfitting. It is kind of retro cool and super Americana. Then, on Saturday we had our practice in the San Jose State pool so we could squeeze in a morning practice before heading over to Team Processing. First we met up with the Olympic Swimming Team and listened to a few presentations about topics like the Medical Staff we are going to have in the village, double checking that all of our forms are up to date with US Antidoping, and etiquette for self-conduct and handling the American flag with respect. They also told us that every phone call, text and Internet communication we send out will be monitored by the Chinese government! I'm not worried about writing anything that wouldn't pass the screening, it's just a good reminder that when we're in China, we have to conduct ourselves appropriately considering that it is a different society.
Then, it was like winning a shopping spree! We each grabbed a shopping cart and our clipboards and went through the line. It was a giant room with stacks and stacks of boxes. Everyone helping us find the right sizes were volunteers and each one wished me good luck before I went on to the next station. It was nice to feel the hometown support, especially because I am from San Jose. Nike did most of the athletic clothing and some casual stuff too, and then Polo Ralph Lauren designed the Opening and Closing Ceremonies outfits. The head stylist for Ralph Lauren was there and he gave us each a little pamphlet that gives every detail on exactly how to wear both outfits. He said, "Wear your hat straight. You're not Fifty Cent!" We even tried the whole thing on so he could double check us and get some tailoring done. He was very particular about everything, but I can totally relate to wanting every small detail to be perfect. That's exactly how we feel about our routines.
I left after the whole processing afternoon feeling so privileged to be a part of something as huge as the Olympic Games. Two more weeks of training and then we head off. I can't wait to take in every moment of it all from training and competing, to cheering on other athletes and celebrating!
(Photo credits: (top) Here is a picture of the team and me enjoying our new Speedo outfitting and (middle) the other photo is from Team Processing. Also, click on this link to view an article and photos from processing. I'm in the first pic!)
Andrea Nott is a freelance contributor for teamusa.org. This blog was not subject to the approval of the United States Olympic Committee or any National Governing Bodies.