Acclimatisation and Camaraderie

Acclimatisation and Camaraderie

Early start this morning, kicked off by a hearty breakfast before the morning briefing from Martin and Jayne about plans for the day.

The team were split for the morning session with around 10 of the athletes heading to the Air Force Academy where they could train for the track and field events, five went off to train on the bikes and the remainder were at swimming practice. 

Down at the track we watched as one of the athletes, a double above knee amputee, completed his first ever 1500m since he was injured. 

Relay Practice

Simi and Erica were both practising the discus and shot put on the field at the same time as Dave, Kushal, Corie & Matt were practicing for the 400m relay, looking very quick out on the track with not a leg between them!

It’s amazing how much the altitude takes it out of the team - the Air Force Academy is over 7,000ft above sea level so this acclimitisation period is absolutely essential. 

This year the UK team will compete against the US in the medal tables, last year they were placed as ‘guests’ but this time around we can really challenge them and knock them off those top spots. 

At lunchtime we were invited to see the American Air Force Cadets parade before enjoying a meal with them.  As we walked in to their lunch hall where all 4,000 Cadets were seated, they all stood up, clapped, cheered and whooped at our athletes.  It was, as one athlete Stacey said, ‘overwhelming’ and truly humbling. 

Lunch Hall

This afternoon some of the team headed to the Olympic Training Centre to get their last sitting volleyball session in before a very special game they will play with Prince Harry on Saturday against the US.  It’s known as an ‘exhibition’ game but the team are taking it very seriously - it’s a chance for us to lay our stake in the ground before the games commence.

Tonight the entire team we were very kindly invited by Dick Koons, the owner of the Colorado Mountain Brewer for dinner at his FABULOUS restaurant. 

I was fortunate enough to spend a couple of hours chatting with one of the athletes when we got back to the hotel, who said these words which stuck in my mind and I’d like to leave you with, “sometimes the pain makes you remember what you’ve lost but the pain can also remind you what you’ve gained.”

Until tomorrow,

Jess x

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