Tuesday, August 17, 2010

My Arrival In The Home of Chocolate!

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.


Tim Fisher said...

Just started reading your blog. Am a big fan -- thanks for all the inspiration! I'm a masters 5k distance runner, and also have major chocolate addiction. Glad to see that such a vice doesn't have to slow you down. Will be watching on the 19th. Good they're treating you guys so well too!

Manuel said...

nice reportage in Swiss television :-)! Good look for your race.

Anonymous said...

I've been following your blog for the last couple of months. I was just in Switzerland for a week. If you get a chance you should check out Lausanne, Switzerland it's a beautiful place and they have the olympic museum there. Well your blogs are always inspiring and I hope you continue to accomplish all the goals you set!!! Good Luck in Zurich!!!

Anonymous said...


You are a breath of fresh air, an elite athlete with solid grounded values. You and your family should be very proud. Keep doing what you do and stay healthy. My wife and I are proud to be fans of such an exceptional human being. You'll get that World Record. We're pulling for you. Don and Tracy

Anonymous said...

I enjoy reading your blog. Good luck this week!

mujozen said...

Do you have a pic of the bus with the photos on it? Would love to see it. BTW, there are 7 copies of your T&F Cover mag still in the U of O Bookstore! You should have someone get them for you!! Jo Carpenter

kramanthony said...

Well I wish you all the best and hope that you will end your season on a high.

Sandra said...

Hey! I just saw an interview with you in Swedish television and now i found you blog. I'll add your blog as a favourite! ;) Take a look at my blog if you want to.
Take care!