Thursday, August 30, 2012

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Last Call

This is what the very last athlete on the very last day of Team Processing looked like. She was excited, I was ecstatic.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Father Time

When I was a kid, time never seemed to move. I was in fifth grade forever. I was never ever going to be old enough to drive. Graduation felt like it would likely be the next century. I was a missionary for an eternity.

And then I got a grown up job. And an apartment. And loads of responsibility and deadlines and time started to speed up. I worked on events and then I worked around product development calendars and the sped up time compounded. I never feel caught up and I never feel like I have enough time to do and see and be all the things on the list.

So it's hard to explain exactly why the time since I got on the plane to Knoxville on July 6 has gone by at a glacial pace. I have felt every second of every one of the last 56 days (!). Good and bad. My friend Sarah nailed the way the Olympics feel over lunch a few weeks ago (seriously I have been here forever) when she said, "no one else sees that this thing is one hour of glory for every sixteen hours of gut wrenching work." That hour of glory is unreal, but those sixteen hours of work are relentless. The phone doesn't stop. The emails don't stop. The "hey Katie will you? did you? where's the? can I have the?" won't stop. Every day you are dealing with people who have been dreaming pretty much their whole lives to be where they are. That pressure is always sitting there, reminding you that yes, while these are just Team USA shirts and shoes, you are talking to a kid who watched Flo Jo wearing HER Team USA shirts and shoes when she was seven and that's why she's standing in front of you today looking for the right size. You do have to get this right. That pressure has taken the form of more than a few weepy moments in bathrooms, closets, post staff meeting warehouses, a knot in my back that actually made the physio from the Fencing team laugh out loud when he felt it and one semi-bad decision to follow the Comms team to the Omega House at 11:30 pm on a work night.

I wrote my sister an email mid-way through the Games telling her that if I talked about wanting to go to Sochi she should remind me I hate this. I'm sitting here with two days left of Paralympic Processing wondering why on earth I would ever stop doing this.

I've said it before and I'll say it now-events are a tiny lifetime. Maybe I'm just in junior high now and that's why graduation feels miles away. I can already think of fifteen ways I could do this better and more efficiently a scant sixteen months from now with the Winter team. I've seen color boards for Opening Ceremony outfits and I'd sure love to see how cool my pal who coaches the US Halfpipe Team looks in them.

Until then, I have about 120 hours left in London. I expect the 5 glorious ones will get my brain all turned around so I forget the 115 I have to gut out.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Fashion Show

You know what is super fun? Playing dress up in clothing you spent the last two years of your life watching evolve.

My RL team really wanted me to experience the fitting process the athletes go through and it was SO FUN.

I go home a week from today and I'm so so so ready but Paralympic Processing has definitely yielded some trip highlights.

Friday, August 24, 2012


One of our sponsors delivered a few pallets of toiletry items today and we have far more than we need. The product is all sitting outside while we figure out what to do with it.

I just got a text from my warehouse manager saying,

"It's raining, thank goodness these tampons are super absorbent."

I get paid for this guys.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

We are Young

Signs your summer is probably going down in the history books...

You FORGOT your funny "kissing a strange brazilian boy outside your hotel one night" story because that was like three weeks ago and SO MANY OTHER STORIES CAN BEAT IT.

It's day 44 on the ground and frankly I am ready to go for a evening ride in the Garden of the Gods. To read a book before bed instead of respond to ten emails. To go to Costco. To have six fluffy towels at my disposal post-shower.

And seriously, to sleep in a room where there is not a train, an airplane, or a phone I am duty bound to answer no matter the hour keeping me from getting a full night's rest.


We put a beret and a scarf on a dog today because he's going to walk with his athlete owner in  theOpening Ceremony. So that's amazing and fabulous and the kind of thing that gives me chills on a million levels. There is still some epic-ness to be wrung from the next 10 days.

Friday, August 17, 2012


I am DYING to do a big fat blog post with all the stuff that is swirling in my head but unfortunately another thing that is swirling in my head is a whole mess of sickness. I was already run down and then Miss Sister brought some nephew germs as a gift all the way from St. George and the two of us sniffled and coughed our way through a truly poetic trip to Paris.

From our delightful flat in the Marais to our bread and cheese picnic on the pond at Versailles it honestly could not have matched up more perfectly with my dreams. We were standing in front of the Eiffel Tower watching it shimmer like a Cartier bracelet right about the time Posh Spice was probably clammering up a black cab at Closing Ceremony and I felt 100% certain there wasn't anywhere I would rather be in the world right then.

It was stupid hard to say goodbye to Emily and Aaron at the train station last night and I even got all emotional when Lance disappeared into the Metro to go home yesterday. As I get older I just get less and less comfortable with being alone. I got to the campus where we will be doing Paralympic Processing and stayed up way, way too late for a sick girl catching up with coworkers I haven't seen in a long bit because going back to my room by myself sounded like no thanks.

I will have a nice Summer of 2012 post when I get home and I've had a chance to pay all my invoices and bike up Cheyenne Canyon and maybe go on a date or two to get my head clear again. For now, I welcomed a new team to London this morning who will help me get 221 Paralympians ready to represent Team USA in style. I'm guessing there is still a story or two to be told before this thing is over...

Saturday, August 11, 2012

The Places You'll Go

So today

*I got to tell Michelle Kwan how amazing and gracious she was at the 2002 Games
*I finally sent a postcard to my nephews
*I used the following phrase as often as I could, "so tomorrow in Paris..."

Tonight I also

*cried all the way from the Tube to the Hotel because this is all coming to end and I don't know if I am happy or sad or relieved or what.

This is what I wrote on Facebook today and I think it sums it up fairly well.

Seven years ago I saw London get the bid for 2012 and wondered with a sad little heart if I would ever make it back into the Olympic family. Now in 2012 I am wrapping up one of the one of most intense experiences of my life. Some really big highs and really tough lows but I will probably never be able to explain to anyone the heart-bursting feeling of pride I get every single time a Team USA athlete gets on that podium and looks amazing. My part in all of this is tiny but it has been an honor over and over to see our entire team represent the USA in style. I have gotten to work with some of the best people on earth this summer and it's been the cherry on top to spend a little time with old friends like Thomas Benson, Bev Carey, Derrick Salisbury and Jamie Shaw who were there when this whole dream started. I could not feel more richly blessed today.

Thursday, August 09, 2012


Just as I predicted...I have long forgotten the sleepless nights and endless worry of Team Processing and now I'm having experiences like this one...

Last night I was at Track and Field for an amazing night where Team USA won seven medals. SEVEN MEDALS you guys. So I'm texting my buddy Tim to see when he can leave to go eat post-meet. He's not responding to my texts and as I look up from the phone I realize it's because he's the guy down on the track draping the flag around Aries Merritt's gold medal winning shoulders. Aries Merritt who was grinning ear to ear the entire time we were outfitting him in Eugene last month and who we were all hoping would win a medal.

Tim finally responded and off we went to dinner with a mix of LOCOG and USOC and USATF people where the guy at the table next to us interupts to tell us a) how awesome the track meet was and b) how fabulous the clothing looks.

I get paid for this.

Thursday, August 02, 2012


Tonight was a perfect night, start to finish. Ran smack into an old friend at the Waterloo station on my way to meet my pal to head to beach volleyball. She walked with me and we caught up and then I met up with Mike at a beautiful bar along the Thames. We walked to the venue enjoying spectacular views of the city and ended up at the venue that has become the hot ticket of these Games. We ran into guys from two of the brands I worked with on Olympic uniforms who I was dying to meet in person and THEN I MET BILL SIMMONS who was sitting in our row.

I didn't get tongue tied talking to Kobe or LeBron but I couldn't get the words out to tell Mr. Simmons how much I love his writing.

The venue was epic, the energy in the crowd was buzzing, I was with some super fun people I really like and we ended the night crashing the gold medal party for Kayla Harrison at USA House.

After three weeks of gutting this thing out and feeling like I was being dragged behind a train, tonight I felt like I was at the Olympics. I'm still trying to process what the future is for me and if this is the thing I want to keep doing but this was one of those "this is exactly where I want to be" moments.

I live for those. I get more than my share.