While the 2009 World Master’s Athletics Track & Field World Championships are a far cry from the real Olympics, in terms of times and distances, it’s very much the same in many other respects.
Take last night. I’m in Sokos Hotel, unable to sleep. I’m seriously unable to even think about sleep.
One last trip downstairs to the front desk to ask for a 2AM wake-up call and review my bill. Then five steps to the main Lahti street sidewalk. Deep breaths. Cool, crisp air. Maybe 10PM-ish.
Head back through the open air lounge to the elevator…
“Want to trade”?, I hear an accent I don’t recognize.
Two Finnish athletes and their wives, engaged me in conversation. Come to find out Mauno, the Finnish Pentathlete, would like my Team USA top and is willing to trade his Suomi (Finland) top.
It’s a moment like this, sort of frozen in time like a childhood dream, that reminds me of what a privilege and honor it is to represent the United States and try humbly to live up to the Olympic reputation of great sportsmanship.
I went upstairs and finished packing.
And if there would have been more time, I would have slept like a baby.