Whew – I’m getting thankful the Olympics are wrapping up soon because I’m not sure my nerves can take all of this. It is absolute AGONY waiting to hear updates. I often find myself pacing around the room when I know he’s in the middle of a race,hoping it will go well for him, and staring at the clock until I know the race has finished.
Alex was supposed to begin the 1600m at 6:30pm Green Bay time. Knowing it was a short race, I paced the kitchen over and over while trying not to bite all my nails off. No word… the phone was silent. I tried calling the folks but knowing the noise levels at the course, I wasn’t surprised when they didn’t pick up. And so I paced some more.
The phone FINALLY rang at 8:30pm and by then I was a total wreck! The 6″ of snow that blanketed the course required race officials to groom the course for the runners – causing an hour long delay. However, they didn’t want the events to be held up too long – so they started the race with only half of the race groomed! Oh boy!
The folks were pleased to see Alex with a water bottle as the runners began warming up at the starting line. They couldn’t tell from far up in the stands if he looked pale or back to his usual form. They’d had no interaction with him since after the 4x400m final the morning before!
The runners took their marks. They rounded the first bend, began the steep ascent up the first hill (it’s killer, so I’ve been told), and jockeyed back and forth for beginning positioning. Then, they disappeared into the trees.
With the ungroomed terrain, the runners were all off their preliminary times by a good 30 seconds. The two Canadians rounded the final bend within seconds of each other and then Alex dashed into view!
WE HAVE AN OLYMPIC MEDALIST IN THE HOUSE!!! The lone USA athlete prevented a Canadian medal sweep by taking the bronze medal. Russia finished in 5th.
The proud medalist!
We’re so excited to know he’s bringing home a medal! I can hardly stand it. After the crushing disappointment in the relay and the uncertainly of how he’d be feeling, no one could have known how he’d compete. But he fought through the entire time.
I haven’t yet mentioned that Alex is the apparent stud muffin of the Games. Everywhere he goes there’s a cluster of preening, giggling women following behind him like lost puppies. Alex calmly asked Mom what to do to get rid of them. Alas, the joke of the games has been that if you ever need to find Alex, look for the large cluster of women – and he’ll be somewhere in the middle.
Mom and Dad found the coaches and gave them some Won with instructions to take Alex to the nearby “Americanized” chicken place and let him eat as much as he needed. Mom said when she saw him later that day, whether it was the post-medal glow or the first decent meal in a week, Alex looked back to normal and ready to tackle the 5K.
Seriously, has there ever been a cuter Olympic medalist?? Ever?