The event thus far has been an incredible experience and I am extremely proud to be representing the USA in windsurfing here in Mexico. Unlike traditional sailing regattas, there is much more activity and excitement around the village and the event sites as there are a variety of different athletes from all over the Americas competing in a number of different sports. It has been a relief interacting, supporting and learning about other Team USA athletes that are working toward the same goal as the US Sailing Team.
The arrival process for this event was an adventure. Team USA was flown into Houston for one night of team processing. We received an abundant amount of Nike Team USA apparel and had a relaxing night at the Sheraton Hotel…for the most part. As you may recall from last update, I had a snoring roommate problem at the Olympic Test Event. Well, it happened again! This time, however, I knew what to do and resolved the issue immediately. I swapped roommates and now I am sleeping with the quietest sleeper in our group. During the past 2 events, I have gone through 4 roommates and I am officially known as the lightest sleeper on the team, I am okay with that though!
We departed Houston on October 12th for Puerto Vallarta and there was concern that hurricane Jova would delay our arrival. Before we left, most weather channels indicated that Jova was making a B-line towards our event site. Fortunately, we landed safely and only all experienced a few small rainstorms.
Upon our arrival, the US Olympic Committee representatives greeted us, helped us with our luggage and sorted out our accommodation logistics. We took a coach bus to our beach side hotel, which is serving as our secured athlete’s village. The village houses sailors, beach volleyball players, triathletes and open water swimmers from more than fifteen countries.
The village is a 25-minute drive away from the sailing site. Therefore, following breakfast everyday, I travel in one of the hourly buses to the sailing venue. The ride is heavily policed. We generally have one or two armored pickup trucks, each with two - three gunmen escorting us through Puerto Vallarta…an intimidating convoy. There have been no security incidents and the organizers are making it their primary concern to ensure the safety of all the athletes. Additionally, Team USA has three full times special operations security agents accompanying us at all times. I feel safe.
The sailing has been challenging. The fleet is very small (10 windsurfers) and everybody is very good. My scores have been up and down and currently I am sitting in 7th place overall, but the points are very tight. The conditions have been exhausting. We have had light air everyday and the temperature reluctantly stays above 90 degrees most of the day. I have been drinking about 15 bottles of water a day and sleeping nearly 11 hours a night in order to fully recover. I am currently out of the medal hunt; however, the sailors in front of me are all very good, especially for the conditions. Even though I am not in line to bring home a medal, I am very pleased with how I am sailing and this event is a great training opportunity for my World Championship preparation. There is still plenty of racing left and I am hoping to continue to make improvements and move up the ladder throughout the rest of the event.
Today was our lay day and I took full advantage of it. I rested, cheered on the USA women's beach volleyball team in the semi finals and played a few games of HORSE in the pool with some of the laser sailors. Furthermore, I have been taking full advantage of the USOC resources that we have at our disposal during this event including doctors, massage therapists and physios.
More to come from the 2011 Pan Am Games in Puerto Vallarta!
Updated on May 21, 2013, 2:58am