Kara Lynn Joyce swimsKara Lynn Joyce is a swimmer for Team USA and won four silver medals between the Beijing 2008 and Athens 2004 Olympic Games.

Life Since London 

September 13, 2012

Kara Lynn Joyce 
 Opening Ceremony

Today is exactly one month to the day that I flew home from London.   How appropriate that I celebrate this day by being reunited with all my teammates from this summer!

I'm headed to Washington, D.C. right now to pay a special visit to the White House and President Obama with the rest of the 2012 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Team.  To say I'm excited would be a serious understatement.  I told someone yesterday that I have been looking forward to this visit for 4 years now - pretty much since Beijing ended.  I have only been to the White House once before and it was with my 2005 National Championship college swim team (GO DAWGS!) when President George W. Bush was in office.

The Olympics always end in a blur.  Once the swimming is over, the athletes head out with their families and friends to travel or sightsee, or some just go home.  In London after swimming was over, my most fun days/nights out were the ones where I would run into other Team USA athletes or swimmers by chance and just celebrate!  The environment at the Olympics is something that can never be recreated again, not even in DC, but it's a life moment we will always share and I'm looking forward to reliving some of it in the next two days. 

People always ask me what I loved most about this Olympics.  Hard question to answer... there are so many incredible and magical things about representing the USA and competing in the Olympics.  I am fairly certain though my favorite moment of London 2012 was participating in the Opening Ceremony.   Easily one of the coolest things I've ever done.  I didn't walk in Opening in Athens 2004 or Beijing 2008 because I had to race the next day, but in London my race wasn't until the 7th day of the meet so I had plenty of time to recover from the 4-5 hours of walking and standing that participating in Opening requires.   I will never forget the feeling of walking into that stadium surrounded by Team USA and the electricity, excitement and anticipation in the air.  My family ended up lucking out with tickets and sat in the fifth row of the stadium - so cool to see them all waving and equally excited as I walked by with tears of joy running down my cheeks. 

Life since London has been amazing.  Life has really been unbelievable since I qualified for London.  The Olympic Swimming Trials are held so close to the start of the Olympics that once you make it you're swept up in a whirlwind of camp, travel, media, processing, training, making viral videos, and becoming a family with your team!  It's great.

Kara Lynn Joyce 
 Missy Franklin and me at a homecoming celebration

Coming home is always a weird feeling for me.  I've been away for 5+ weeks and in that time every little want or need has been taken care of for me, someone has made ALL my meals, I've had a printed schedule under my door when I wake every morning... and all of a sudden it's over.   I've done a pretty good job of reacquainting myself back into my normal life in Denver, CO - aside from not knowing where anything in my kitchen is or accidentally leaving my house keys in the door for 3 days while I visited a friend. 

My reception back home has been so wonderful.  My neighborhood was decorated in red, white & blue, I attended the Colorado Olympians welcome home ceremony and I've visited with lots of friends and family all over the country.  I also got my Olympic rings tattoo with my fellow Colorado swimmer, Missy Franklin.  My first and only tattoo and I love it!