The 2008 U.S. Olympic Team - Triathlon is going through team processing and readying themselves for their journey to Beijing and the races taking place on August 18 and 19.
Two members of the team shared their thoughts on the experience.
>> Jarrod Shoemaker (Sudbury, Mass. / Maynard, Mass.) <<
"Wow" is about the only word on my mind right now. As I write this I am sitting on the plane on my way to Olympic processing in San Francisco. For me having qualified last September the date of August 8, 2008 always felt a long way off as I looked ahead towards the Opening Ceremonies. As this year moved on things began to fly by and all of the sudden it was August 1st and I was starting to pack and get ready to leave.
The preparations for the Olympics have been unlike any other race I have done before. When I was packing there was more than just clothes to pack. I had to get ready for 2 weeks of travel and pack every contingency that I could. My bags just weighed in under the allowable limit and I will be adding another bag of Olympic team clothes in San Francisco.
We have 4 days until Opening Ceremonies and I keep trying to prepare myself for it mentally but I don't know that I can or will be able to do that until we get to march into the stadium.
>> Julie Swail Ertel (Irvine, Calif. / Placentia, Calif.) <<
I am so excited to be heading off tomorrow. It has been a great last week here in Irvine, getting good luck wishes and send offs, and putting in some great quality training sessions, but I am ready to head out on the journey for which I've been preparing.
I love the processing experience. It is a combination of a shopping spree for Team USA gear and a pep rally for the Olympics. The energy is always high and it is great to look around and see that we all have a single goal, a focus and know what it took for each one of us to get there and have the honor of representing Team USA.
The races are set for August 18 (women) and August 19 (men).
Find out more about the team.