Friday, March 30, 2012

Olympic Dreams

At this stage of training, an Olympic Hopeful does not rest easy.  I remember every time I shut my eyes, whether it was on my pillow or in the car on the way home from practice, my mind would immediately transport me to the starting block of my big race.  It was difficult to veer from thoughts of competition when I wanted my mind to rest.  In fact, it got to the point that I had to put together a "sleep tape" (Yes, I competed in the Walkman era!) in order to fall asleep.  The tape included a ton of Enya and wrapped up with "Purple Rain" by Prince. 

And while I doubt today’s Olympic Hopefuls will be making tapes of any kind or listening to Prince, I know they’re all fighting the excitement and the anxiety leading up to their Olympic Trials…those feelings just stick with you.

So to all the Hopefuls out there gearing up for their big moment, I have this advice:  Know at this point you are doing all you can, so be sure you take a moment to enjoy the journey and find something that calms you. Let your mind rest; it will make a world of difference.


Friday, March 23, 2012

Running the Torch

Today is an awesome day for me! I have been itching to scream this exciting news at the top of my lungs…so here it is, I AM RUNNING THE OLYMPIC TORCH!

I am so honored that Coca-Cola, the longest continuous partner of the Olympic Games, has chosen me to run one of their legs in the torch relay. There are 8000 runners participating in the 70 day Olympic Torch Relay, and my piece of the flame’s exciting journey through the UK will happen right outside of London on the morning of July 10th! (Here’s the relay’s entire route).

I have so many wonderful memories of the torch relay. The first coming from 1984, my first Olympic experience, when Olympian Rafer Johnson carried the flame into the stadium in LA, and the most impactful being the emotional hand-off between my former teammate, champion Janet Evans and the great Muhammad Ali at the 1996 Games in Atlanta. (Watch it again, it always brings me goose bumps) I never thought that carrying the Olympic Flame would actually be in my cards, and now I’m going to be a torchbearer!  

And how cool is it that CocaCola has been involved with the Olympic Torch Relay since the 1992 Games in Barcelona, and now on the 20th anniversary of that amazing Olympic moment for me, I’ll get to make another Olympic memory and be part of helping Coke make memorable moments for others.
I am thrilled. I am honored. I am a torchbearer. And now…I’m a little nervous. Maybe I should practice…think running around my neighborhood carrying something fragile and flammable would help? J  Here’s hoping my marathon training pays off!

See you in London! 

Friday, March 9, 2012

Olympic Fever

It's less than five months until the start of the London 2012 Olympic Games, and if I didn't have it already, spending two days a the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs with all its energy and excitement has firmly secured the fever in my soul...Olympic Fever.

Careful you just might catch it.  

I have had the fever since 1984, when my dad packed up our Mazda 626 and drove us down to southern California for the LA Games.  That was the moment I fell in love with everything Olympic, swelled with pride for the USA, and forever made my colors RED, WHITE and BLUE. 

Yes, the fever ebbs sometimes during the Olympic cycle, but the flame never really dies. All it takes is one spark, one mention of the Games, one story of a Hopeful, and the fever ignites all over again. Then I, like many others, just want to spread it.

What I love most about the fever is that it blocks out any bad feelings about our wonderful country, and for 17 magical days, it brings our entire nation together.  I can feel the love and pride as a spectator, and I when I was on the blocks on day eight of the '92 games almost 20 years ago, I could most surly feel it as an athlete.  The fever is powerful, inspiring and packs a punch! 

So this is just a warning, you better get ready...Because before you know it, you will be waving the American flag (you didn't even know you had) while chanting "GO U-S-A!"

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Figure It Out returns to TV!

Nickelodeon is bringing back Figure It Out! Here's my take and a few photos from my time hosting.
"I’m thrill that Nickelodeon is bringing back 'Figure It Out'. I loved my time hosting the show, and I'm excited that they're putting the slime back in our lives! Now my kids’ generation is going to get the opportunity to experience the game show that was such a great part of my life. I am unsure at this time if I’ll be involved, but loved being part of the Nick family and would relish the opportunity to be part of the show's return."