September 15, 2000
Tom McCook training Jenny Thompson

Well, tonight it all begins. The culmination of years of work and anticipation. It's very exciting!

The pressure is definitely on and competition at this high level becomes pretty serious. Jenny swims three times tomorrow, so she won't be at Opening Ceremonies tonight. In fact, several of the athletes will probably bow out as it's too much added stress to be standing in the chilly air for so long.

Security is very tight here, which makes training and communication more difficult--nothing like Brisbane! All the swimmers, coaches and trainers now have cell phones. It's sometimes chaotic when we have 7 different phones ringing in our house!

Tom McCook and Misty Hyman in a twist

Jenny has secured special day passes for Tom to get inside the Olympic Village (where the athletes stay) on the days she competes, so he can work with her. Otherwise, places like the village are completely off-limits, even to personal coaches. To help U.S. athletes get the support they need, the U.S. Olympic Committee has set up a special off-site training center. This too is a guarded area and the facilities are minimal, but at least Tom can work with Jenny and Misty without too much hassle.

Here are a couple shots of Misty and Jenny from recent training sessions. Send Jenny and Dara (Torres) your strongest vibes for the 100 fly tomorrow. Go USA!

Karen and Tom

Next Entry: September 16, 2000 »