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Today I had the opportunity to sit outside in Victory Park, at the Town Center in Athlete's Village, during a welcome but unusual break in the action at the Polyclinic. I am still in awe that I am here, literally watching the "world" go by. This park is one of several beautiful, green open spaces throughout the Village. It is not uncommon to see whole teams being led in a meditation, yoga exercises or individuals and small groups just hanging out on the grass. From my observation and the positive comments and commentary I have been hearing from the athletes, the Village is comfortable and is being well used.
Open spaces are filled with beautiful wildflowers, all chosen to be in full bloom this month. There are sculptures and stained glass art, as well as breathtaking clear glass towers in the central plaza called the Towers of Truce. This unique display is being signed with special pens by the Athletes as they pass by.
From the glassed walls of the Polyclinic, I have been seeing delegations with athletes that have finished their competitions packing up and heading home already but overall, the Village is still full and very busy. I guess I had always thought that after an athlete competed, they then would have the time to just hang out and and enjoy the Olympic experience. Maybe for some that is the case but for the kids, and most of them are just kids, with the piles of luggage and gear in front of their Olympic residences, their London 2012 adventure is over.
It seems impossible to believe, but I have been here two weeks already. There is so much that has transpired in the past 14 days that the time has just flown by. The first few days of settling into the flat, navigating the Underground, Overground, DLR and buses have given way to settling into a work routine, somewhat similar to what I would do at home. Work, eat, sleep and hopefully get a fun time or two squeezed in during the few free hours in between. I am certainly not complaining, but if anyone thinks this is a just a vacation, my body would beg to differ. I am sore and tired and running on adrenaline but heck, I'm certainly not complaining. Everyday I am doing massage on elite international athletes, and after all, that is what I came here to do!
Laura Stevenson-Flom is a nationally certified, state-licensed massage therapist with a specialty in sports massage and a private practice in her Colchester home. She will be serving as a volunteer massage therapist at the Summer Olympics, helping assist athletes from around the world. She's been assigned to Athletes' Village, one of seven Olympic Park venues.
Find more from Laura at www.inbalancect.com/blog