Tuesday represents 12 days to Rio and my first day in the Australian Track and Field Team Camp in Florida. The camp venue, IMG Academy, is a secondary sports college equipped with facilities to envy the Australian Institute of Sport; a top class gym, American football and athletics stadium, countless tennis courts (this is where Andre Agassi began his journey and no less than 24 soccer pitches side by side. currently there are around 400 secondary aged kids attending sports camps as the US school holiday period comes to a close. At its peak the Academy has 1400 in holiday camps.
The Australian Track and Field team is 60 strong and has all gathered at the Academy to fine tune preparations before flying to Rio. Upon my arrival half the team had already departed with another departure heading south today. The environment is upbeat and inspiring with the Olympics being played on every screen around the place, that said I am glad that I am not in the middle of it just yet!
Monday was my chance to get away from it all literally with the 2nd longest flight in the books with QF7 in the air for an impressive 15hrs between Sydney and Dallas. Due to the networking abilities of Newy parkrun run director Simon Redhead I had a visit from Qantas A380 Captain Peter during the flight. This is the first time I have chatted to a captain during the flight or have even seen one strolling the cabin. He did inform me that there were 4 other qualified pilots on the flight and the plane was in good hands while he got ’out and about’.
Finally Tuesday was the day where I received my Australian Olympic kit. The symbolism was overwhelming as was the volume of gear. The only disappointment was wondering how long I can fit into size ’S’ clothing. Perhaps I’ll have to keep running after this for that reason alone!