Sunday, August 24, 2008

Congratulations to all of the drug-free Beijing Olympians !

I have had several comments left regarding my opinion on drug testing at the Olympics, so I thought this would be an appropriate time to address my feelings.
Despite all the articles I have read on the Internet about drug usage at the Olympic Games they all seem to contradict each other. Some articles say that the cheaters have all been weeded out, others say that they are still there. I am optimistic about the playing field becoming more even, you may call me naive if you want.
At the 2000 Olympics there were 12 positive drug tests, at the 2004 Olympics there were 26. As of right now there are only 6 out of the estimated 4,600 tests done ! To my understanding the top 5 finishers of every sport, plus two random were tested, also there were 2652 tests done 2 weeks prior to the Olympics starting. Doping samples taken at the Olympic Games will be contained for 8 years to recheck as testing advances over the next couple of years, the cheaters can still be identified.
I am sure that there are still some cheaters out there, but they will be caught. Drug testing is advancing and will only continue to advance. By London I think most of the cheaters will be weeded out by having stricker policies and violoations.
For more information on doping check out these links:
The United States Anti-Doping Agency
The World Anti-Doping Agency

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

From Beijing !

While at the Silk Market I met David Alofsin from Burlington, Vermont ! I live in Colorado Springs, Colorado and rarely meet anyone from Vermont, that happens maybe once a year ! I have to come all the way to Beijing to run into someone from Vermont ! Pretty cool !

Monday, August 18, 2008

Adventures at the Silk Market

What an adventure....the Silk Market in Beijing ! This is also known as the Pearl market. It is I believe 8 stories high and then 2 stories below ground. We had been hearing about this place since we landed in Beijing. Everyone says this is the place to go shopping. They have clothing, jewelry, purses, luggage, electronics, you name it.
My parents and I started off by taking a cab there. When we pulled up from we saw a large crowd of people standing outside trying to get in. We entered the building not knowing what was going to happen next....what an experience. In the market each vendor had a small little area to sell their goods. They would stand out side and yell "Hey lady hey want purse" or "Hey mister need nice suit." This was the nice stuff they were saying....later on a vendor would say to my mother "You stupid cheap cheap" We thought this was very funny, mainly because my mom is pretty cheap (sorry mom !). Then my Dad walked by a vendor and the man yelled "Mister you need shirt" my dad said jokingly "Sorry I am to fat" as the man held up a small shirt the man responded with "We have fat man size." All in all we had a great time. We bought several gift items such as jade and pearl necklaces.
Leaving the market was also an adventure. With there being so many people and not enough taxis in the area it was a fight to get a cab. This is one of the funniest memories I will ever have of my Mom on this trip. We stood for about 10 minutes waiting for a cab. I was watching a cab drive by me and I turned to see if it had pulled over. I then turn to see my Mom throw herself out into the passing cab and grab onto the back door handle and run almost 30 feet with the cab. She was determined to get a cab and get out of there. It was pretty funny to see my 54 year old mother throw her self into a cab, grab onto the door handle with one hand and keep holding onto her bags of gifts she had just bought. My dad and I stood there laughing.
Stay tuned !!!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Lets catch up !

Wednesday was the first day that I had to do anything I wanted and not worry about my training schedule. It was time to spend with my parents and husband ! My parents and Jason arrived at the Olympic Village around 10:30 and stayed til almost 2:00. We spent time in the Olympic Village Learning Center learning how to speak Chinese and write our Chinese name with special ink and brushes. My mom was hilarious trying to speak Chinese. She would say everything exactly how it was spelled. However though they look one way they are pronounced another way and have different sounds. She was so funny, everyone was laughing at her but she gets an A for effort ! We had lunch and walked around the Village. I showed them the amazing gardens, the game room, dining hall and "International Zone." The International Zone has several gift shops, a tea house, florist, post office, as well as a bank. From the village we hired a taxi to drive us to the Great Wall. It was easier and cheaper to do it this way than to go no a day bus tour. It cost us $45 (American) to drive there and another $45 back. Then cost of admission of around $14 (American). We drove about an hour all through the country side of China to reach the section of the Great Wall that was open to the public. We arrived and were swarmed by vendors trying to see us anything of everything. They would start off at 400 yuan ($57.00) and you could haggle with them down to 70 yuan ($10.00) Mom and I did this a few times. We both bought silk robes and silk table runners for our dining room tables. The people were a bit over whelming trying to see us stuff, they would not leave you alone and would just follow you saying "Friend friend, I give you good deal !" My husband was even able to get a vendor down on 2 beers ! We rode to the top of the mountain by an enclosed tram to reach the Great Wall. It was worlds can express how incredible this man name structure is. Its so big you can't even fathom....we saw just a small section yet it is 4,000 miles long ! It was very hot, we drank a ton of water to stay as hydrated as we could. I don't know why but I wore flip flops that day....not such a great idea to wear when walking on the Great Wall ! We spent about 2 hours there and headed back to the city of Beijing to have dinner at the Bank of America House and then were in bed by 9:30 !

More great photos !

AMAZING !! Jason and I standing on the great wall !


This is the tram line that took us up to the Great Wall....what an experience ! My parents !

Family Photos !

Mom, Dad, Jason and I at the Olympic Village Learning Center where we learned to speak chinese and even write our chinese names !
Boys will be boys....Dad and Jason having a beer before going to to the great wall !

We took this itty bitty tram up to the great wall...I hate heights

And up we go !! (I am scared out of my mind right now, don't look down !!!!)

Jason and I seconds before stepping on to the Great Wall !

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

And the results are in...

Photo by Jeff Franko Well this is the post everyone has been waiting for ! I made 2 of 3 of my snatches, and 1 of 3 of my clean and jerks. I am disappointed that I did not make my last attempt clean and jerk because it would have been a new American Record. I am grateful though that I was given the opportunity to even try a new American Record at the Olympic Games. I ended up 14th in the Snatch, 12th in the Clean and Jerk, and 14th overall. My US team mate Natalie Woolfolk in my class ended up 12th overall. I cried twice even before the meet had started because I was so excited ! I was physically there in the moment, though my mind was thinking back over the course of the last 13 years of what it had taken to get me there. It was a huge emotional experience....I walked out on the platform twice before the competition had even started to get the feeling of what it was going to be like and be on stage. I looked into the stands and found my parents and husband. There were two people I thought about when I looked up in the stands that I wish were there because they both played a huge part of the person that I am today, my coach and my sister. I know my coach was watching at home in Vermont cheering me on in front of his computer and my sister was there in spirit cheering me on as she has been since the day she passed away. Once the competition was over I did 5 interviews...that was also an emotional challenge. I wanted to just leave and be in the moment and go over what had just happened in my head, but I had to keep my composure and talk about how I was feeling, which was difficult to do while fighting off tears. I was also icing my wrist because I had 'tweaked' it on a lift, so everyone was asking what was wrong with my wrist. Please don't get me wrong, I am very proud to be US Olympian and be apart of this amazing event though I am a little disappointed in my overall performance. But as of right it is fueling my fire to give it another go for 4 years. Watch out London ! (My dad was born in England, and I think it would make him proud for me to compete in his home country !) My parents, Jason and I left and took a 40 minute taxi ride and had dinner at the Bank of Americas China Lounge. We ended up having dinner with my team mate Natalie (who had just also competed and did very well!) and her family. From there we came back to my parents hotel with the anticipation of dropping off our stuff and then going to the silk market. Instead we were in bed by 9:15 all exhausted from the day. Today I am going to bring Mom, Dad and Jason to the Olympic Village to see where I have been living for the past 2 weeks. We're also going to try to get to the great wall, and the Silk Market to do some cheap shopping ! I still have 4 more days in Beijing and plenty of things lined up. We have a team photo, meet and greet at the Adidas Olympic Store, and a press conference with Lenovo ! Stay tuned for more adventures from Beijing !

Photo my Jeff Franko

Monday, August 11, 2008

TV Schedule

My amazing super strong husband Jason at the 2003 Pan American Games....195kg ! He will be arriving in Beijing at 5:20am tomorrow morning, I can not wait to see him, this has been the longest we have ever been apart ! My weightlifting session will be on TV on NBC Aug 12th starting at 12:30A.M.(EST) Set your VCR or CD Recorder if you don't stay up ! The taped part will be on Sunday Aug.17th on NBC from Midnight until 2 A.M.

We've come a long way baby !

1999-Junior Competition in New Hampshire, I am Clean and Jerking 75 kg. I can now do 128 kg! In less than 24 hours I will compete. We've been here nearly 2 weeks and I knew this time would come, but I didn't know it was going to come this fast. All of the preparation and hard work are done, now the only thing left is to show what I've gotten from working my tail off.
I am very excited, nervous and anxious. Believe it or not I am much more relaxed than I was the night before the 2008 Olympic Trials, and the 2008 Nationals. I guess because I have made it, and I have nothing to lose and nothing to fear at this point. I am here and that can never be taken away from me. I just need to go out and lift the best that I can.
Tonight I ate the most food I have ever eaten the night before I weigh in. I had white rice,
3 dumplings with veggies and pork, 2 chicken breasts with American cheese and ranch dressing,
a handful of pumpkin seeds (also a new found discovery in the Olympic Village dining hall that I like just like hummus!) ICE CREAM BAR !!! I do not think I have ever had ice cream the night before I have lifted because my weight has always been to close to chance eating to much and not making weight. No fear, I checked my weight after eating and I will weigh in just fine tomorrow.
I will post my results sometime tomorrow evening to let everyone know how I have done. Also, I will not be leaving until August 17th, so I will keep posting photos and writing to let everyone know how the rest of my Olympic experience is going.


Security is no joke here ! Even my mom was searched before entering Bank of Americas Hometown Hopefuls ! There are security guards an Police everywhere in Beijing. What amazes me the most is the Police here do not even carry guns ! I feel VERY safe here, every precaution that can be taken is....

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Weightlifting on GOOGLE !!!

I thought this was so cute, you rarely see anything weightlifting images !

Photos from Opening Ceremonies

USA Weightlifting's Women's Olympic Team

President George Bush and I ! Preparing to go into Opening Ceremonies and walking in to the Birds Nest


Me pointing up at the Torch that was just lit !

Funny Photo, Opening Ceremoines & Mom and Dad

So my uncle sent me this photo of my cousin T.T. (left) and I (right) when we were little kids....he claims that he was the first weightlifter in the funny !!! My parents arrived here about an hour ago. I arrived at their hotel about 4:15 and sat waiting in the lobby, they arrived at 5:15ish, I was SOOOO excited to see them. They are getting settled in and basically running on adrenaline right now. Opening Ceremonies were AMAZING. I had goose bumps and cried my eyes out almost the entire time Team USA walked our lap on the field. We left the Olympic Village at 5:15 and traveled to the fencing venue. This is where Team USA met President Bush and had photos taken with him. I did get my picture taken with him, but have yet to load it online yet, but it is coming soon! From the fencing venue we went to the main holding arena (which was also the gymnastics venue) for my guess is at least and hour and a half. It was hot....but it was only about to get hotter ! The United States was 140 out of 204 countries, so we had a while to sit and eat food they had provided for us. We marched into the stadium around 11pm I am guessing. Everyone was cheering, clapping and high fiving the members of Team USA. China LOVES Kobe Bryant....they were cheering "KOBE KOBE KOBE !!" Walking into the stadium was a rush, as I said I cried my eyes out. We watched the Olympic flag being brought in and raised and of course the torch lighting. The ceremonies were top notch, just an unbelievable nothing I have ever experienced in my life. When on the infield I called my husband, best friend, grandmother, another friend and my coaches back home. I wish I could write more about it but there is no way I can put into words the feeling that I felt last night....just amazing !!!!!!!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

A few online articles...

The link below is to two interviews I did several weeks back regarding nutrition... "Peering into the fridge of an Olympian" "Recipes for the Soul" AND......a link to my hometown news paper, they did a great job on the article and I am really glad that they talked about my sister ! "The weight is over for Olympic Hopeful"


My workout went well today. It's nice having USA Weightlifting men's team with us training in the weight room and all of us training together. Closing ceremonies is tomorrow and I can not wait !!!
The highlight of my day are the photos below :)
Adam Nelson-USA Track and Field, Shot Put, 2 time Olympic Silver Medalist Though we ate lunch together yesterday we bumped into each other again today. He was just getting out of the cold plunge as I was ready to get in. Adam is a very friendly, happy and funny guy. I would say he is one of my favorite athletes I have met here at the Olympics !

Though I did get to meet Matt Lauer 2 months ago, it was still great to see him again and get a photo with him in Beijing ! He wished me the best of luck and great training....

That's right....Kobe Bryant !!! I was getting a massage when someone sat down next to me, I turned my head to look up and its Kobe ! He said "Hey girl...." he asked what sport I did, and where I was from. He was very nice and asked questions about my sport. He said he used to do the clean and jerk but he's to 'old' now.

You never know who you are going to meet !!!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Panaramic View !

More Photos

Jim Shear, USOC chief executive and I at the flag raising ceremony.
1992 and 1996 Olympian Wes Barnett hard at work in Beijing at BNU (this is the mode of transportation for most USOC workers at BNU)
2008 USA Men's Gymnastic Team


Monday at the training hall...........amazing.........
This one's for my Dad !!!!!!!
Cheryl, Nat, Melanie and I at the Olympic Village.
First wave of 24 Hour Fitness trainers in the gym and I.

New York Times Article

Beijing Air Thick on Monday By Juliet Macur BEIJING – Erinn Smart, a fencer on the U.S. team, saw the thick haze blanketing this city Monday morning and knew it would mean trouble. Soon after, she felt a tickle in her throat, and the inevitable began. “I have bad allergies, so I started to cough because of the bad air out there,” Smart said, before a training session at Beijing Normal University. “Then someone mentioned to me, ‘Hey, why don’t you just put on your mask?’ But I didn’t want people to see me wearing it and say, ‘Why is she wearing that? She’s a fencer. She competes indoors!’” While the sky was blue several days last week, it was smoggy and humid here Monday, four days before the opening ceremony for the Beijing Games. Storms are expected in Beijing over the next few days, which could clear away the smog. But some athletes, like Smart, have already felt the effects of the humidity and pollution. While Olympic organizers had promised blue skies for the Olympics, United States Olympic Committee had planned ahead for this. To filter out the polluted air, they issued specially designed masks to some of U.S. athletes. Convincing athletes to wear those masks is another task altogether. “It’s been like, ‘Who’s going to start the trend of wearing that mask?’” Smart said. “No one wants to be the first.” The poor air quality on Monday wasn’t a universal problem for Olympic athletes already in Beijing. Some with asthma, like U.S. weightlifter Carissa Gump, said they felt fine. Going into Beijing, however, Gump said the air quality was a concern. Gump said she has qualified to use an inhaler to open up her airways while competing internationally. But she did not qualify to use one here at the Olympics, which she said has stricter standards. At a training session Monday, Gump saw a Thai weight lifter wearing something akin to a dental mask. That raised eyebrows, she said. “I thought it was funny because the problem here is just the visibility and not really pollution,” Gump said. “When I competed in Thailand last year, I used a nasal spray and allergy medicine, but here, I haven’t had any problems at all.” Giselle Davies, spokeswoman for the International Olympic Committee, said the inconsistent air quality in the last week likely has been an issue of heavy humidity and not pollution. If pollution levels are too high on competition day, the I.O.C. has said it would postpone endurance events like cycling or the marathon. Athletes in those events would be more affected by bad air because they would spend more time in it. Check out the actual article at the address below, there are photos that go with the article as well....

Sunday, August 3, 2008


I am sure many of you have heard about or have seen the email that's been going around about the food in China. They have pictures of scorpions on a stick, sea horses on a stick, all different types of bugs on a stick....they are not serving the Olympic delegation anything on a stick in the dining hall, just ice cream. Though if you are feeling adventurous there is a night market here that is open 7pm-11pm and they have every imaginable type of food possible. I am not very adventurous when it comes to food as Anthony Bourdain or Andrew Zimmerman...or my team mates Natalie and Cheryl. Never say never, I may surprise you in a post saying I ate something on a stick ! My breakfast choices have been very consistent. A bowl of shredded wheat cereal, a slice of bread with hummus (my new found food that I found out I love !), a slice of cheese, a slice of turkey or salami, a handful of pumpkin seeds, 2 egg whites and cold green tea. Lunch and Dinner varies depending if on if we are eating at BNU (Beijing Normal University, which is Team USA's headquarters) or at the Olympic Village. I will say this, I have had McDonald's twice...just chicken nuggets, no Big Macs for me !!!