[gallery link="file" orderby="post_date"] ROW ONE:
Photo one: This was one of the few times we saw Michael during the 10 days we were in Omaha. When he's competing, we let him steer the ship, meaning we see him if he reaches out. Otherwise, we let him do his job. After all, the swimming pool is Michael's office - it's where he "goes to work"
Photo two: In the 100,000 square foot Aqua Zone, with the 10,000 square foot Speedo space behind us.
Photo three: Olympic Trials Chairs are a hot commodity! They support the athletes, by providing a seat before they head out to the blocks for their race and are given to high level sponsors upon the conclusion of the meet.
Photo one: This photo was taken from the competition pool deck, while standing behind lane 4, from where the fastest qualifier starts their race. This is what it looks like to compete in the competition pool, plus 14,000 fans.
Photo two: The red photo booth that you see swimmers signing once they've made the Olympic Team.
Photo three: A close-up of the step and repeat. This patterned board stands behind the swimmers during a press conference and also lines the media row, the swimmers walk through after they have finished their race.
Photo one: A group of local children made cards for the athletes, which lined a wall, near the warm-up pool. USA Swimming provided a unique, behind the scenes tour, where a group of 10 were given a "behind the scenes" look at the swimmers area. Complete with massage tables, bottles of water, and a warm-up pool, it provided the athletes a place to rest and prepare for their swim.
Photo two: Down to earth and real, one of my favorite people, Andrea Kremer. Most often, our catch-up time is during these meets, so it was nice to spend a few days with her in Omaha.
Photo three: The cheering section! We had a large group with us at trials, which included family and several of Michael's friends. Here, they donned wigs and t-shirts that spelled out "Happy B-Day", which were worn on June 30th, the day Michael celebrated his 27th birthday.
Photo one: A statue outside the swimming arena. At night, the ball in her hands lit up, reminding me of a crystal ball.
Photo two: Backstroke flags. Used during backstroke races, so swimmers know where they are in the pool and knowing how many strokes they have to take before making a flip turn or touching at the end of the race. When a backstroke or IM race isn't being swum, the flags are raised high above the pool and out-of-the-way.
Photo three: Speedo did some really fun shirts for the lead-up to the London Games. This one, with an English Bulldog on the front, we called "Herman." To Speedo, it was symbolic of the British/English bulldog, originally from the UK, but to us it depicted Michael's dog, Herman, who is an English bulldog.
Photo one: One proud Mama! Mom, in the stands, holding the flowers Michael brought to her, after winning the 200 fly.
Photo two: We tried to take a photo together every night in the stands. Here are four of the seven nights of photos.
Photo three: The pool, a temporary pool, built by Myrna Pools, sat inside an indoor arena. Called a portable pool, Myrna can build an Olympic sized pool (50 meters in length) almost anywhere. In previous years, one has been built-in a parking lot in Long Beach, CA and in Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. This one was filled by using a fire hose, attached to a fire truck, and took 1 million gallons of water!
Photo one: When winner of the event touched the wall, fire would shoot out along the side of the pool. And boy, was it hot! You could feel the heat from the flames no matter where your seat was located. This photo was taken during the final night, when the 2012 Olympic Team was announced.
Photo two: While I try to eat healthy on the road, an indulgence is needed every once and awhile. These duck fat fries were a starter one afternoon, while we waited for our lunch. The pub was cool and the food was delicious!
Photo three: At the conclusion of the meet, many were taking last-minute photos. Here, I'm with Keenan Robinson, a trainer at NBAC and head trainer for the 2012 Olympic Swim Team and Kalyn Keller, a 2004 Olympic swimmer and a phenomenal open water competitor.