By Klete Keller
BRISBANE, September 8. – Hi, swimming afficionados!
I haven't written in a while. It's been pretty hectic around these parts lately. I'll start at the airport in LA. I don't like to look back on that too much because it was like most flights: delayed, long, and uncomfortable. But we got here.
Checking into the Olympic Village in Sydney was exciting. There was a lot of security we had to go through, which is fine with me. Once we settled down in our rooms (which are future apartments for a select few Australians), we went to the cafeteria. The cafeteria is the biggest tent I have ever seen (about the size of a Price Club). There is just about every food one can imagine–including plenty of food you shouldn't be eating at a big meet like the Olympics.
The pool is absolutely enormous. It dwarfs the pool the Trials were held at in Indianapolis. The stands hold 17,000 people. They rise so high that people at the top can't see the last two lanes and need big screens to see all of the action. There is another pool behind the scenes where warm up before the races will be carried out. It is complete with a lazy river, steam room, slide and several jacuzzis.
We are now in Brisbane in Queensland (a few hours' flight north of Sydney) for our taper camp. Some of us have paid a visit to the local casino; none of us came out on top.
Another thing we can't seem to win with is the press here in Australia. The Sydney Herald might be mistaken for the National Enquirer in the States. There has been trash talking aplenty (including Gary's comment that we will smash the Australians like guitars and Kieren Perkins' reply that Gary was a "drug cheat.") Hopefully we can get back at them in the pool.
I'll write again later.