7 DAYS TO GO - ITU DIARY FROM ATHENS

7 DAYS TO GO - ITU DIARY FROM ATHENS

By ITU Admin on 17/08/04 at 12:00 am

Helicopters were buzzing overhead today in Vouliagmeni rehearsing the television broadcast for tomorrows Olympic Cycling 40km Time Trial. The event is using some of the Olympic Triathlon cycling course, so there is lots of anticipation about what will be happening hereone week from today.

CHANGES TO THE VENUE: Every time you walk out to the transition area something as changed. Swiss timing finished installing of the timing equipment today with wires under the swim exit, mount and dismount line and the finishline to capture all of the data. Once the timing wires were down, the carpet crew moved in and started to apply the blue carpet, which has become the signature of our sport.

The start platform and media pontoon are now complete and the bridge from the permanent pier to the pontoon will be in place by Friday in time for the swim training session.

We also conducted a stability test on pontoon today. Almost 50 volunteers and venue staff simulated the take your mark - go!. There was very little movement despite the weight of all those people jumping on the edge, and everyone was confident about the effectiveness of the stability design.

NTO TRAINING: The Greek National Technical Officials have also completed 2 days of training under the supervision of Andreas Galanos, the ITU International Technical Official in Greece. Andreas is also part of the Sport Team working with Gergely Markus. The NTOs were given a birds eye view of the event as well as their specific assignments.

OLYMPIC WISHES FROM A 2000 TRIATHLON OLYMPIAN: Christine Hocq of France, 2000 Sydney Olympian writes: I wish you another wonderful Olympics event. I know how stressful it is for you all the way (it’s sometimes harder to organize than to compete!)

I keep a wonderful memory of Sydney, it’s still enlightening my life (that became more classical since then) and I will never regret all those years of World Cups around the world.

I don’t think I ever had the opportunity to thank you for your kindness all over these years. It was nice to have you as a friend when the pressure came . . . Michel was a good friend too.

Today I work full time for my company Electricit de France. I have a very good job in quality and I live in Amiens, half way to Paris and Lille where I go every week. I enjoy being a wife and a mother. My little boy Alexandre (2 years old) is beautiful; he looks like his father (you remember Thierry) and is the only one in the family to be in Olympic shape! Thierry and I are very tired from having a “tonic” child and a full time job, but we try to be always positive and have dreams of traveling (we will go to Quebec in September).

It’s still difficult to have left the world of sports - it is true that athletes die twice! But it is even more important to know when to stop and accept another life.

I read your article on the internet every day while I’m working! I hope to see the race on TV!

Please tell Barb Lindquist and Wieke Hoogzaard if you get to see them that I wish them to enjoy their games as they deserve it and that I will think of them during the race…

SIMON THOMPSON (AUS) 2004 OLYMPIAN WRITES: The Games have begun! I’ve just arrived back in France and it is hard to contain the excitement. I traveled with Aussie Triathlon team mates Greg Bennett, Peter Roberson, Rina Hill and Section Manager Wayne Goldsmith to Athens last week for three fantastic days that included the opening ceremony.

I don’t compete until Day 12 of the Games - 10:00am on August 26th, so, we have come back to France to continue with our final preparations away from the madness of Athens and the Olympic Village.

If we were staying at the village for the two weeks prior to my event I’d be completely mentally drained. There is so much excitement being a part of the Australian team and with so many distractions it would be too difficult to keep control. Our team travels back to Athens on the 21st and will stay at a small Hotel closer to the site of the Olympic Triathlon. We will be sharing with the Sailors and taking the place of the Road Cyclists who move into the village or after their competitions.

After our event we will move back to the village for the final few days including the Closing Ceremony.

For the moment I am glued to the TV between training to watch as many of the other Aussies competing as I can!

So far my build up and preparation has been great and just as I had planned with Coach Benny earlier in the year. When Benny arrived late July he brought with him a huge envelope containing letters and faxes from home. Unfortunately I’m not able to thank each and everyone individually, but I would like to give my sincerest thanks to you all. Your support has been invaluable and I have been very humbled.

I will race on the 26th with the strength of all of you and rest assured I will be giving my best to the finish line!

Thanks again to everyone for your support. I wouldn’t be here without you. Regards Simon Thompson

Find more details about this event - 2004 Athens Olympic Games

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