5 Awesome Olympian Experiences at the Games

August 09, 2016

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Have you ever wanted to actually feel like you’re a part of the Olympic moment? Walking alongside the athletes and experience the Games from their perspective? Well, here is a small glimpse into what that is like. Social media platforms of the 2016 Rio Olympics are, more than ever before, trying to capture every moment to share with you what the Olympics are like. Here are five things you might not see through Snapchat or an Instagram filter.

 

1. Medal celebrations

 

Medals, are of course, a big reason as to why we all watch the Olympics. We want to see our favorites do well, or our home town heroes perform at their best. When they do, we see all the excitement on TV. However, there’s even more to the fun when you earn a medal for your country. Your medal is added to the total count and everyone could not be happier. The athlete, or team, will then go through many various interviews on multiple different outlets; which can also be very draining on the athlete’s mental state for the day. Athletes can get asked multiple times throughout the course of the games if they have medaled and when that answer is yes, usually everyone near them is ecstatic and wants to celebrate with you. Thus, you have quite a few parties to go to later.

 

2. Village life

 

As an athlete, you will fly into the host country with your sport’s team; archery, badminton, rugby, etc. You will then be directed towards where you will be living inside the Athlete’s village. From the view we have received of the village in Rio, athletes seem to be dispersed all over the towers. So nothing like, “USA is in building number 12”. Having that in mind, mingling between other athletes and sports is quite a unique and wonderful experience for any Olympian at the Games. Mingling with other Olympians and cheering for your team in the common rooms is an amazing time in itself and cherished for years after.

 

3. The Swag

 

That’s right. Athlete processing. Just to name a few items, athletes receive uniforms for almost any occasion they might be met with. Media clothing, competition clothing, podium clothing, lounging clothing. You name it, they have it. Most athletes who attend for their first time are told to bring only your essentials like toiletries and underwear… because they get a whole suitcase devoted to a month’s worth of wear for the Games anyway. Pretty sweet, eh? On top of this they get shoes for all occasions, a personalized Olympic Watch, sized for their Olympic Ring, and tables upon tables of signing their name on posters, and other memorabilia for USOC designated items.

 

4. Order of Ikkos

 

Any Olympian who wins a medal, of any color, has a ceremony to award the coach they select for the one that has helped them along their journey the most, basically. It is to recognize not only the athlete’s journey but the person who also dedicated the time to help another person selflessly in their pursuit for an Olympic dream. Very emotional and very cool to experience. Hands down.

 

5. Getting into any events you want: VIPs

 

Probably saving the best for last. You know those swimming tickets you just couldn’t get your hands on? Or maybe women’s beach volleyball which is known to always be sold out. Well, don’t be too sad but any athlete who wants to see an event…gets to see an event. There is always a section for athletes from other sports to come and spectate any other sport. Why? Well wouldn’t you want to cheer on your teammates as they went for the gold? It shouldn’t come as a surprise that all athletes are always in support of other athletes and their dreams. This is a great way for them to show their patriotism and root for their fellow athletes without being burdened to go buy the tickets themselves. Awesome!

 

So which one are you jealous of? Wish you could be a part of the action? We are pretty sure everyone does at this point. Rio does hold some hope for showing us common folk what it’s like to be at the Games through any form of social media. News stories and personal videos get blogged about every day, every minute, and every second of the games whether it’s from athletes or other spectators. So don’t fret! Sneaking a peak at your phone at work every now and then couldn’t hurt. ;)

 

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Heather Koehl
Heather Koehl

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