Chasing Gold: The Olympic Experience
July 25, 2012
Bob Alejo, NC State's assistant athletic director for strength and conditioning, is in London for the Olympics. He'll be blogging about his Games experience. Coach Alejo is there to assist defending beach volleyball gold medalists, Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers, in their attempt to win it again.
London - Tuesday, July 24
Not as bad as Beijing, but it's never easy waking up in a place that has a significant time change. Wow, five hours difference. All went well Sunday/Monday. Someone was waiting for me when I got off the plane to show me the way through the airport, check-in at the Olympic Games stations inside Heathrow and then through customs where there was a separate line for the Olympic delegations. From Heathrow, I went on to the Olympic Village for accreditation (credentials and official check-in for the Games) followed by traveling to the University of East London (USA High Performance Center or HPC) where I will stay until we move to the London Marriott before competition begins on the July 28.
My flight departed Raleigh at 4 p.m., on Sunday with a stop at Kennedy and arrived in London at around 7:30 a.m., on Monday morning. After accreditation at the Village and a drive to the UEL, I was dropping stuff off in my room by 1 p.m. Tough to get to sleep initially (I only napped about an hour on the plane), so I watched some footage of Jeff Dunlap's (NC State director of basketball operations and former UCLA Bruin) college basketball highlights and in a matter of minutes was out like a light. Good thing because I had a 6:30 a.m., wake up so I would be on time for the shuttle going to the Village and then to processing. Processing is a number of things, but basically it is to pick up your Olympic team clothing and sponsor gifts. This includes fittings for opening and closing ceremonies wardrobe, checking sizes of the clothing gifts, team and individual photos and ring and watch selection. Gives you the first feeling of being part of the Games and Team USA. All in all about three hours spent at the processing venue.
From there, Todd Rogers, Phil Dalhausser and I returned to the UEL for a training session. We spent a solid hour or so with some moderately-heavy lifting emphasizing speed. After which both of the guys went through ice baths and massages (we have access to chiropractics, therapy, etc., when we need it) before we sat down for dinner and went over our plan for the remainder of the week. Our matches in pool play are at 10 p.m., 9 p.m., and 9 p.m., on the July 29 and 31 and Aug. 2, respectively. We will practice Wednesday and Thursday at 9 p.m., to put us on the evening schedule, which more than likely for us will be for the entire tournament. Also, like in Beijing, we will play every-other-day. Because of this, my plan is to weight train after every match. This gives us a full rest day between matches even though we might not finish our training until well after midnight. Since the HPC isn't open that late at night, the USOC is building us a lifting platform at the hotel (like the ones in Weisiger-Brown) so we can have access when we need it. It's important to keep the nervous system active, especially for power sports like volleyball, yet not do too much.
It's 11:30 p.m., here and time to sleep. Until next time.