Courtesy of NBCVogue
When I was fourteen years old, I was selected to participate in the "Duel in the Pool: USA vs. Europe" competition. The event was held in Manchester, and that was my very first time visiting the U.K. I remember I loved all the people, the accents, and the food. This trip, however, is my very first time in London. For starters, I absolutely love the Olympic Village-the rooms are great, and we are all allowed to take home our Olympic-themed comforters. There is also an amazing cafeteria that is like a Costco with the cuisine of every possible country represented. I stayed healthy, of course, and focused on more familiar food during the competition (mainly British and American fare) but after my last race on Saturday night, I hit the sushi bar and took a trip to McDonald's for a McFlurry. Overall, London has put on a fantastic Olympic Games. Yes, the facilities are wonderful, but the people have really made the trip. Whether you're in a shop, riding the tube, or at the Olympic Park, everyone is so friendly and helpful. Now that the competition has wrapped and I have a little downtime, I have a few other things on my agenda, including a double-decker bus tour and a ride of a river boat down the Thames. I also told my parents that Big Ben is a must! People often ask me what life is like for an Olympian-here is my diary detailing a typical day at the Games . . .
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9:30 a.m. Wake up at my parents' rented flat in London and grab breakfast from a little place across the street.
10:30 a.m. Get picked up for media interviews with my mom and dad.
11:30 a.m. Arrive at Olympic Park.
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12:00 p.m. Join other Olympic gold medalist swimmers Dana Vollmer, Katie Ledecky, Nathan Adrian, Matt Grevers and Brendan Hansen for the Today show. It is so great to see them all again!
1:30 p.m. Head to mall for an interview with Olympic swimming legend Amy Van Dyken. Stop by the Village on the way there to check to see if my ticket request for gymnastics went through. Fingers crossed!
2:30 p.m. Finally time for lunch. I am starving!
4:00 p.m. Head to the BBC and Canadian Television studios for some more interviews.
5:30 p.m. One of the last interviews of the day, with Piers Morgan. It is so nice to meet him in person. They asked me to wear all my medals, but I don't think anyone realizes just how heavy the medals actually are.
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6:30 p.m. Head home with my mom and dad. We eat dinner with my cousin Darryl.
9:00 p.m. Watch a movie with my cousin and Skype with friends back home.
1:00 a.m. Bedtime! It's been a long but fun day. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing the city with my family this week.
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Courtesy of NBCVogue
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