Melanie is on her way to Beijing via San Jose, CA. She called this morning from SeaTac Airport to say good-by until we meet up in ten days.
The whole USA Olympic delegation gathered at San Jose University for a briefing, outfitting and processing. They will all be traveling on the same plane. It has got to be a real rush to be traveling with and be a part of America's best athletes. Spirits are unbelievably high!
Little did Mel know that "The Governator," Arnold Schwarzenegger, would be there to send them off. The world's most famous bodybuilder, turned actor, turned politician was the highlight of an exciting day! Melanie and teammates, Carissa Gump and Natalie Woolfolk had a chance to talk with the governor about lifting and the two handed press. (OK, I admit it, I haven't got the slightest what that is. But, I didn't know what the "snatch" and "clean and jerk" were either until I met Melanie!) This was a meeting just with our lifters. They presented Governor S. with a Team USA jacket.
Our Team USA was outfitted, too. There was even an alterations department. Nike , Calvin Klein and Polo were very generous. From the report I got it sounds like there is much more than they will ever wear. Problem: Melanie is 5' and 117 lbs. I am 5'5'' and....well...I guess I won't even bother to get in line for any overflow.
Melanie showed up at San Jose University with a 93 lb. suitcase. Teammate Carissa Gump teased her. "What? Are your kids in that bag?"
After years of training you don't change the winning combination. The bag is full of food. The American grown food that fuels the body. There have been too many articles about food quality. There is too little leeway in meeting weight. There is too much at stake to change anything now.
Our USA Team leaves tomorrow, Saturday, on a non-stop flight to Beijing, China. The trip of a lifetime.