Ben Michaelson’s Pan Am Diary: Getting Outfitted

(This is the second entry in Ben Michaelson's diary of his Pan American Games experience.)

By Ben Michaelson

TAMPA, August 4. CHECK-IN Day. WELL, yesterday proved to be quite an adventure! Thunderstorms in the Midwest shut down Chicago and Washington, D.C., airports for most of the afternoon, so my flight to Tampa didn't arrive until 2 A.M. today instead of 8 P.M. yesterday. On top of that, my bag didn't make it to Tampa when I did.

I suppose I can't get upset. You just have to roll with the punches when stuff like this happens. Fortunately, my bag arrived here at the USOC compound early this afternoon.

Today started with sleeping in a little (I woke up at about 8 A.M.) then some breakfast before a USOC briefing. They covered just about everything we'll be dealing with over the next 2 weeks, including media issues, travel, apparel, security, and some other logistical items. After that, those of us who got in late last night (early this morning???) went to get officially checked in and outfitted.

I must say, one of the best things about being on the national team is the free stuff!!! The entire US delegation will be looking pretty sharp. We're all outfitted head to toe with Team USA gear.

Another nice thing today was getting my first set of national team caps. Since I was added to the Duel in the Pool roster at the last minute, I just got a plain flag cap for that. I guess I'm official now, with the flag cap that says "MICHAELSON" on the sides. I know that anyone can order a set, but I never did; earning my spot on this team and earning my cap is a pretty special thing.

Now I'm gonna relax for a little bit with the fellas, then we head to St. Petersburg to train for three days until we fly to Santo Domingo. I need to get in the water BAD to shake out the tightness from a tough travel day yesterday, but I'm more excited than ever for next week.

Eight days until my big race!!!

Anyway, Mike Raab is yelling at me to play him in Tekken, so I gotta go open up a can on him…talk to you all later.


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