I have now arrived in Zurich, had a nice workout session and a great interview with the Swiss television media.
Zurich is to me, the BEST meeting on the European circuit and it's not even close. They have the best physio, best food, top level accommodations and the atmosphere during the competition is electric!
When I landed at the airport, I was picked up swiftly, arrived at the hotel and was greeted personally by the meeting director, Patrick Magyar, who already had my room key and meet information packet ready. All I had to do was walk in the door and head right to my room. That is very big to a lot of us athletes as we criss-cross Europe for these competitions. Not to mention they even do our laundry for free at this competition.
It's small things like getting laundry done that we take for granted at home, but it's a lot of work to do on our own out here. Keeping a clean set of underwear is not an easy task for us! Keep in mind they only allow us 20kg worth of luggage to carry as well and we are gone for months at a time. Zurich takes care of a lot of the off the track things we have to deal with so we can focus down on having great performances.
Being in Zurich plays into one of my vices though. Upon check in, they always give us a big box of Swiss chocolate. Everybody that knows me knows how much I love chocolate. That is probably the main reason why I had to get three root canals and spent over 20 hours in the dentist office before I went to London! I try to lay off, but I just can't help myself. I'm always telling myself "OK, just one more" but I think they sprinkle something in the chocolate over here, it's so addictive.
The Zurich Diamond League event is the only competition I have been to every single year of my career. They have always extended an invitation to me. My first season in 2005 I got in because they had a "B" heat, '06 I finished 4th, which was very big for me at the time, in '07, although I got hurt at the World Championships and every other meeting was rescinding their invitations, Zurich still had me in attendance. In '08, I ran my second legal sub-13 here and '09 they had me back for my first real appearance coming off of my torn calf and I finished 5th, beating individuals who were finalist at the World Championships.
We race here on Thursday evening, but today, I'm looking forward to a kids clinic I am doing in the city of Chur, Switzerland. I am traveling by helicopter so I will be able to check out some great views of the land. I always like when I get a chance to interact with kids, no matter what country they are from, they are the future of our world and like I always believe, I may not affect every kid, but I know I will have an impact on at least one by the time I leave.
3 weeks ago