Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Around Our Necks
Photos Include: Paige and Andrew getting their Gold Medals...including Robert Scheidt getting the silver. Our squad getting their silver medals and Paul getting his Bronze. A couple of shots of us with our medals. Our medal.
Long story short:
We went to the prize giving. Actually, the prize giving came to us. When we got back to the dock, the whole compound had been transformed into the backdrop for the medal ceremony. It was raining pretty hard and we were trying as quickly as possible to rinse the salt water off of everything on our boat with fresh water. We got the mast down and the sails put away. I think we might even have been thinking about packing the container at that point when Scott came over and said they wanted to start the awards ceremony in 10 minutes and the Lightning was to be the second award given.
We raced up to the area where we normally leave our stuff and get injury treatments. There was no time to even shower. Thank goodness we had towels to at least dry off. Typical sailors changing clothes in public! We were ready in about 8 minutes and then in true S. American style, waited 25 for the ceremony to get going. Nobody complained.
It was really too bad that Tracy and Augie missed out on a medal by as little as they did. We didn't see it, but I hear they pulled bow to bow with the boat they had to beat to medal, but apparently they just couldn't pull it off after a great comeback. They went immediately to the container where in the dark, they started rebuilding the shipping rack on which the Lasers and the Snipe. Then Augie was the first to leave Rio. He caught a plane at 9:30. As I write this, he's already in Colorado sailing another Snipe in the US Nationals. I'm not sure I've ever met anyone better at logistics than Augie.
Bob and Elisa also got a raw deal. They sailed around all afternoon waiting to get a chance to move up for a medal. They were the 4th race scheduled. The first three races were completed well in time. Then the committee seemed to wait for…? By the time they got things ready to go, the 4pm time limit had gone by. That was very tough to take, but those guys handled it very well back on shore.
Today's "Neatest Thing That Happened Today". Dedicated to Camryn and Sabrina:
There was a three-way tie. First neat thing: It was just beginning to rain. It was dark out. We were standing at the top of the stairs in our medal stand uniforms waiting to go down to the podium. Our team came down first. Then the Chilians and then the Brazilians. The flag bearers went first. Then the oh so very cold little girls in the summer dresses holding the medal trays and the flowers. Then a boy scout who was obviously prepared for anything went. Then it was my turn. I took the first step down the stair and Paul Foerster came out of nowhere in his team uniform and yelled, "Way to go Bill" and gave me a high 5. He's got three Olympic medals and he's saying this is his last of this type of games. Being on the same team with him was pretty cool. Second neat thing: We are standing on the podium with our medals on. It's raining a little harder. You can see your breath. The Chilian National Anthem is playing. Just as it seemed to be getting to be a very long anthem, Tito whispered under his breath so only Jody, David and I could hear, "It only takes about half an hour." We couldn't laugh, so I guess we just smiled a little harder. Third neat thing: As they put these big silver medals around our necks, Andrew Campbell yelled from somewhere in back of the crowd, "Go Blue!!" Just the same thing we'd been yelling at the basketball team. Felt very good just then to be part of a team. Usually don't feel like that at a regular regatta but by then we'd long since figured out that this was about more than just sailing boats.