The big moment has arrived!! After four years of preparation I finally got to London. I arrived two days before the Opening Ceremony and so far the experience has been great. It is hard for me to look for a favorite moment since I have enjoyed many, but I can talk about the ones that have impacted me the most so far.

Opening Ceremony! It started with processing, where Ralph Lauren staff fitted us for the uniforms. It was fun to see my teammates and myself wearing and apparel very different from swim suits and shorts. The night of Opening Ceremony was cold and rainy but that did not stop any country from gathering and celebrating such an important moment. We laughed and took pictures of each other and tried all kinds of methods to stay warm while marching in the ceremony. The arrival into the stadium was the highlight of the night and definitely one to remember. Hearing loud chants of “United States of America” as we were crossing the tunnel to enter the stadium made me incredibly happy and proud to represent my country.

The pool is great! I love the building – as an architect and swimmer I could not ask for anything better. On my way to the pool I realized how incredible it was for me to be swimming in a Zaha Hadid building at the Paralympic Games. In the world of sport, competing at the Games is the highest goal you can achieve and as an architect Zaha is one of the most important architects of our time. What an incredible opportunity for me to use a building design by her to provide a swimming venue for me at these important Games.

The swimming competition started the 29th of August.  I got to see my friend and teammate Elizabeth Stone win two bronze medals, one on the 100 m Butterfly and another medal the in 100m Backstroke. I am very proud as a teammate and friend. My events start on September 3rd and I am looking forward to it. I am ready to have fun and swim my best!!