A couple of weeks back, during our training camp in Denver, we tried on all the shirts, shorts, jackets, medal stand attire, opening ceremony and closing ceremony attire. We tried on every size shoe, tights, tanks, jerseys, socks, sunglasses, and made sure the backpack was what we needed. I knew what was going to be in those bags, almost like an itemized list in my head, question was if I was going to get one, or not?
Fast forward to now: we are in D.C. in the very final stages of domestic preparation for Rio, and there it is, my name written in thick black sharpie on the side of the gigantic box shipped to our hotel. MEGAN RAPINOE, SOCCER. It was late last night when I finally got to my room, but I actually could not resist! You know the saying, “act like you’ve been there before,” well I have been there before but I ain’t acting like it– no way, no how! I ripped open the bag, laid out every piece on the bed, examined all of them, blazoned with the USOC crest, American flag, and Olympic rings. I tried on everything! Whether she wanted it or not, my roommate Ali Krieger got the fashion show of her life!! I was legitimately so giddy last night, I stayed up way later than I wanted to, but who cares, I got my Olympics swag bag, yo! This part brings me back to when I was 11 years old, sitting on the floor in the sweltering heat of Redding, CA watching Gail Devers line up those nails on the starting line, and being in awe of Michael Johnson, gold chains bouncing off his chest, her gold spikes ripping around the curve on the 200m. I am them! It truly is surreal to me that I was in London in 2012, and now I’m going to Rio in 2016.
So, as we head off to Belo Horizonte (site of our first game against NZ), I will put those tee shirts on with so much pride, slip into those sweatpants and walk a little lighter, gliding on my cloud with new shoes. I will walk onto that plane with a big fat smile that will undoubtedly last the duration of the games, because I am an Olympian, and I’m a kid again.