Captain America is my nickname on the team, a name I am very proud of! It's been a great honor being nominated by our contingency male captain of the America's team out her in Split for the Continental Cup.
This is a VERY big deal to me, you talk about crunk level going up!! On the teams I've been fortunate to be apart of, the captains that were chosen have been people that were leaders, the type of people others on the team wanted to strive to compete like. It's big because this isn't just a Team USA thing either, it's the who North American, Central American, South American region.
Of course I don't have any real duties, but I've just been encouraging my teammates and having a good time enjoying my captaincy. I am trying to find a "C" to sew on to my jersey for my race tomorrow!
Split, Croatia is one of the most beautiful cities I have been in! It's definitely a great European hideaway. It's very French Riviera-like. This is the view I have right now as I type this, looking out my balcony window. We had a training camp here as well, going to practice was well worth it just for the views alone! This is a very refreshing, relaxing spot.
I was an invited guest to the athletes press conference, it was one from each team. Along with myself, it was high jump queen and hometown hero Blanka Vlasic representing Europe, Olympic champion shot putter Valerie Adams represent the Asia Pacific team and 800m world record holder David Rudisha representing Africa.
I was also grateful to be graced with the presence of two legends in the sport, former 800 world record holder Wilson Kipketer and 2000 Olympic 400m gold medalist Cathy Freeman of Australia. I had no idea she was so small, but she had MAJOR fight out on the track.
I was not all that familiar with either one of these individuals, but thanks to youtube, I now have an appreciation for how great they really were.
I believe that in order to be great, you need to immerse yourself and surround yourself with greatness. In order to be great, you have to see greatness in action. No matter what the sport, what the event may be in track and field, when greatness happens, you better believe I will find a way to watch it. Whether that means youtube or interrupting my warm-up for a minute or two.
I had a couple of great training sessions, but remind me never, ever, ever, ever to run warm-up strides with Jeremy Wariner! He doesn't even look like he's moving that fast, but he's got great speed. His name goes right up next to Dwight Phillips as the two guys I won't make the mistake of warming up with again!
Wallace Spearmon was striding it out with us, but I was giving him the business, so he's cool LOL
I did block starts over a few hurdles with Andy Turner, the European hurdle champion, it was a great session. Reminiscent of some pracitices we had a couple of years ago, although I am right up there with him now! Maybe he'll come back down to Florida, I tell him all the time that if he came more consistent, he'd easily be down in low 13.1's at least! We both are ready and should finish 1-2.
Competition gets started today, day one of two. This is the stadium we will be competing in and it will be 35,000 fans strong going crazy! I'm really in to that! I don't run the hurdles until tomorrow evening, so I'll sit back and cheer my teammates on today.
This meet is a great concept, it's been cool being on the same team as the Jamaicans, Cubans, Brazilians etc and they make our team strong in events where if we were just the USA, we would be slightly weaker in.
I expect from myself to hold up my end of the bargain and bring home maximum points for the squad. I really hope that on Sunday evening "America's Team" will be hoisting up that trophy!