McKinney’s own Olympian, Mary Killman, has been in London almost a week now. As she blogged at marykillman.blogspot.com, she’s done three things since her arrival: “We practice, we eat, we sleep.” But Killman is loving every minute of it.
At the moment, she and her duet synchronized-swimming partner Mariya Koroleva have jumped across The Irish Sea to Dublin, Ireland, for some final intense training away from the Olympic hoopla.
It’s the same spot where they trained for their qualifying meet in London back in April – even the same hotel – so they feel right at home.
Interesting First-Week Notes from Olympian Mary Killman’s Blog:
Upon her arrival in London, it took more than two hours to try on and custom-fit all the Olympic attire she might possibly wear during her stay.
The Olympic Dining Hall is cavernous, with specific sections for the myriad food tastes represented: British, Mediterranean, Kosher, Indian, American – about anything one can imagine. (She’s staying away from the tempting desserts until after her competition.)
In Dublin, they’ve met up with alternate swimmer Cate Stewart and are training with her there. Alternates aren’t allowed in the Olympic Village.
And, of course, Killman’s most momentous event so far has been last Friday’s lavish – and long – Opening Ceremonies.
“Walking into the stadium was amazing!” Killman blogs. “I can't even explain the energy that came from the audience. The USA also seemed to take up the entire stadium by ourselves.”
Only one discouraging word blogged from Killman – and it’s in jest: The Olympics’ official color appears to be pink – a hue she can barely abide. The signs, the volunteers’ T-shirts, even the buses, are pink.
“Not gonna lie, it's a little bit like a nightmare to me now with all the pink. haha But luckily, there are enough countries’ flags flying and different country outfitting to offset it enough that it's alright. … I can't complain too much, though, right? This is the OLYMPIC GAMES!!!” Killman writes.
Latest Q&A with Mary Killman
McKinney Magazine had more questions for Killman and she was gracious enough to promptly reply.
Question: How safe do you feel in the Olympic environment?
Killman: I feel just fine, especially inside the [Olympic] Village. It's a great environment and I couldn't believe I could be safer anywhere else!
Question: Any nerves yet, as the start of your competition on Sunday, Aug. 5 grows nearer?
Killman: Not yet! I'm not known for getting all that nervous at competitions, but I have a feeling the butterflies will begin showing up when we get back to London and we have that last little bit of training before we start competing. Exactly a week from now, I'll already have competed in the Tech Routine!
(Technical Routine competition is Sunday, with Free Routine events to follow on Aug. 6-7.)
NBC Sports has the Russian duet of Natalia Ishchenko and Svetlana Romashina as odds-on favorites to win the Gold, with China and Spain also expected to medal.
But, for all the Killman/Koroleva fans here in McKinney, we’ll close with this quote from Johnny Weissmuller, a five-time USA Gold medalist from the 1920s and our nation’s first swimming superstar:
“With but few exceptions, it is always the underdog who wins through sheer will power.”
About the author: Rick Atkinson is a former U.S. Marine Corps helicopter pilot and commercial airline pilot who lives in McKinney with his wife of 23 years, Debbie. He is a freelance writer and cartoonist.