Olympics from A(uburn) to Z(imbabwe): Kirsty Coventry's Diary

Aug. 13, 2004

By Kirsty Coventry
Special to CollegeSports.com
Courtesy of Auburn Athletics

Today the Opening Ceremonies mark the official opening of the Games... I am so excited! Everyone always wonders how the torch will be lit and what type of entertainment there will be. Normally, Zimbabwe is the last country before the host, but this year the Greeks are following the Greek alphabet and Z is the 6th letter. We should be about 56th in line. I am not sure yet whether I will march or watch from the stands; it is very tiring to march and I swim on Sunday. I marched in Sydney and it was a great experience. Most of my Auburn teammates have elected not to go in order to save their legs! The officials predict it will be 6-7 hours of standing, sitting and marching! Eileen will be there though because she is the flag bearer for Panama!

All of the Auburn kids are here now and we have so much fun together at the pool and especially at the cafeteria! We watch each other do our fast work during training and it inspires confidence in ourselves. Mark Gangloff swims the 100 Breaststroke tomorrow morning. I have scheduled my workout time to get there just before he swims so I can see him blaze down the pool!

Yesterday I had to go to an asthma clinic to get my asthma "verified" to make sure it was legal for me to take my medicine. It was quite a hard test but I "passed" with flying colors... which means yes, I have asthma and need my medicine. It is good that they are testing us though to make sure the Games are fair. After my test we went and bought new pants for my Opening Ceremonies uniform; they gave us size 36 men! It was fun to get out of the Village and see a bit of Athens. I look forward to seeing more when I am finished competing.

I hope you all enjoy watching the Ceremonies on TV. I will try to describe it to you all later as best as I can!

War Eagle!!!

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Kirsty Coventry