As I did on every other day of the Games, I went to bed last night at 8:30 p.m., and I woke this morning at 4:00 a.m. Early to bed, early to rise—a schedule I’d been practicing for the two weeks before the Games started.
Today challenged me mentally. The first event, the Sandwich, doesn’t take much technical skill, but you have to be able to focus. I summoned all my determination to get through it, and I felt elated at my finish.
Then, to the final event—”Amanda”, which, for my age division consisted of alternating sets of ring dips and snatch squats. My arms were really, really tired, and I knew that it wouldn’t be easy to hammer out the ring dips, even though I can usually string five in a row. What I didn’t expect was how much the change in venue effected me. We moved from the soccer stadium to the tennis stadium—an unfamiliar, more intimate space. The announcer sounded much louder, and the crowd felt closer. A more seasoned competitor might have been able to stay cool under the pressure, but it got to me. The skill I’m going to have to work on: composure.
Despite it all, I am thrilled at my finishing place. I knew that I wasn’t on the podium, but I was so locked in on just getting through all my reps that I had no idea what anyone else was doing. I reunited with my family when it was all over, and they told me: fourth place overall.
I came in to the Games in awe of the athletes I was about to compete against, and I leave with even more respect and admiration for them. I feel fortunate for those athletes I train with much of the time, most of whom are younger. But it was an honor and a pleasure to compete against athletes who are my peers in every way. I hope that we will stay connected in the coming months.