There is incredible support here at the Pan American Games Village Guadalajara 2011 and they are welcoming all the athletes with open arms.
Although they said it “never” rains here in October, it rained here for 2 weeks solid until today. Yesterday we rode the trainers in the basement garage of our building. It was good to flush the legs and the Policia Federal were entertained with the cyclists riding and going nowhere. The USA Women’s Softball team was practicing in the basement as well, and I was slightly concerned about a stray ball flying over to our area. What was more dangerous? The great outdoors or the softballs?
It was so fun to see all the different athletes mulling around the village looking for their training of choice. Did you see any sweet racquetball courts around? Where is the nearest beach or shooting range? Suddenly you aren’t so different after all. It is completely normal to use a lightpole to stretch your quads or spontaneously do a yoga position in the grass, and it is appropriate to blow your nose somewhat discreetly if necessary yet no one judges if it wasn’t discreet at all.
Hello, athletes of all kinds. Or should I say, Hola?
The lines at the dining hall were massive, but it was still incredible to take it all in. Where World Champions and Olympic medalists all come together to eat. Who was that guy? Only the best in the world. Oh, that’s it?
We decided to try to venture outside the Village today to flush our legs a bit, and were adopted by the Brazilian men’s cycling team, which then morphed into a group ride of about 40 riders from the Pan Americas. I had to laugh at the crazy roads these people were used to navigating, and how we just took the on-ramp onto the freeway and proceeded to do a supported ride taking up most of the freeway towards Tequila, Mexico. I guess I always wanted to go for a ride on the freeway, and that is one thing I can check off the list now. Freeway group ride. Done. Thank you to the Venezuelan coaches for driving the support vehicles, and thanks you for my Zipp101s for not flatting on the treacherous roads that were taking no prisoners.
I made it out of the Village and made it back in, with some new friends, new appreciation for bunny hopping large holes, and of course the reality that there were in fact donkeys on the freeway. Donkeys and bikes. Yes.