Good Times and Gold Medals Take 2

I’m back! And I’m sorry! So sorry for my (almost) year-long absence from Good Times and Gold Medals. Updates, shall we? I graduated from college, had a brief stint working on a burrito line, and then it was off to grad school, and somehow my blogging game fell off. But I’m back, and you will never believe where. I am currently interning at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in sunny Chula Vista, California!

That’s right, peeps. For the entire summer, I am surrounded day and night by some of the most elite and inspiring athletes in the world. I intern in the Athlete and Community Relations department (read: 2 people, me and my supervisor). My job is basically 20% events, 20% media relations, 20% tour scheduling, and 100000% randomness. (Check my math on that one, yea?) I work on a staff of about 9, so ACR intern basically translates into everybody’s intern. We’re the team behind the team, and it takes a willingness to do anything and everything to keep this place running. I may be escorting Fox Sports on site from 8:30-10am, giving a tour to a local YMCA group from 10-12pm, and spending the rest of the afternoon tracking down athletes, photographing events, or writing content for the newsletter. On Thursdays we make popcorn.

Anyway I just finished up my first week, and man do I have some stories for you guys. I don’t even know if I can put them all down in one post, but these are the highlights:

1. I love the dining hall. Not only do they serve some of the best tacos I’ve ever had in my life, but that’s how you really get to know some of the resident athletes. It’s how I got to know Chris Clemens, a Navy Veteran wounded in Afghanistan. Chris sustained a traumatic brain injury when an RPG exploded in his camp in 2004. Through involvement with various veterans groups including the Wounded Warrior Project, Chris is now on track to compete in the 2012 London Paralympic Games. He’s also one of the friendliest and most helpful people I’ve ever met. Best of luck, Chris!

2. I spent Wednesday morning escorting Fox Sports around for an interview with one of our top decathletes (an event the U.S. could possibly sweep in London). Little did I realize that the correspondent I was joking around with for a couple of hours was Amy Van Dyken, six-time Olympic gold medalist swimmer. Yea…she was pretty and hilarious. Pretty hilarious.

3. I walked out onto the field at Petco Park aka Padres Stadium. As a final send-off for our Olympians before they leave for London, we’re organizing a special Padres Game day. Archery will exhibit at the game, so naturally some of the admins over there wanted to see a quick demo. Just to make sure the arrows don’t accidentally fly into, you know, people. So a bunch of us hoped into a van with Lauren Clamon, 14-year old 2011 World Archery Youth Championship, and set up shop in the infield. She demoed. She rocked it. Girl Power!

4. Two words: Bee Swarms. There is a LOT of wildlife around the OTC that I am less than familiar with. Lizards, coyotes, rattlesnakes, and oh yea…bee swarms. Apparently bees roll deep in Chula Vista. On my first or second day, I heard tell of the bee swarms that sometimes overtake the track here. The advice was to run if you can, and if not, just hit the deck and wait it out. So a group was here shooting a spot for our resident decathlete star, and as he’s setting up for a javelin throw and I’m chatting with my supervisor who drove his golf cart to the track to check in, I see a quick motion out of the corner of my eye. I look up. The decathlete takes off, javelin swinging. Someone shouts “Bees!”

And my supervisor DEUCES! His golf cart zooms away and me and another intern are left staring at a dark cloud of roughly a hundred bees headed our way. We.hit.the.deck. Boom on the ground! I wait for about a minute as the bees fly over me, and the first person I look at when I get up is my supervisor.

Word, Dave? Word?


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