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Fifth Place

posted August 21, 2008 @ 3:49 AM  |  Elite Level Competition category

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~By Jen Kaido, Wednesday - August 20, 2008

Family and Friends,

As most of you probably already know, we came in fifth in the final. Honestly, it wasn't a great race and it wasn't our best race. I'm not sure what happened or went wrong. We knew we had to go out and be aggressive the whole way down the course, and I feel we were doing that, but it still wasn't enough. A couple times I could feel us getting closer to Germany, but then they would walk away. It's weird....I'm glad the racing is over with, but I'm not really happy. I know it's an accomplishment to just be in the Olympics and representing my country, but when I see girls that I have been training with and working just as hard as, win Olympic Gold, it hurts. Each event is different and certain countries usually dominate certain events. Although, our women's single sculler Michelle Guerette won silver which is amazing and fantastic for American sculling!

I have been pretty busy since the Final, which is why it has taken me awhile to send out an update. After we finished, I met up with my family and was finally able to go out and experience Beijing! We went to an Italian Restaurant via taxi.....craziness! There are no traffic rules or courtesy to other drivers (or pedestrians). Our driver swerved in and out of lanes, no turn signal, passed on the shoulder and did not stop for pedestrians or bikers. They would just honk their horns to warn people or cars. And there was no yielding to oncoming traffic. They would just pull into traffic and hope the oncoming cars would stop or swerve out of the way. There seemed to be no rhyme or reason to the traffic. After a delicious non-chinese meal (I was getting a little tired of the same menu rotated every three days), we went to the Bank of America Hometown Hopefuls Family Center where we had a few drinks and just relaxed. They kicked us out at 11PM and from there we headed back to my families condo's they rented. I stayed the night there, went back to my hotel on Monday and moved out by Noon. A bus took the Team to the Athlete Village and since then I have been seeing events (synchronized swimming, track and field) and sightseeing (Silk Market, Forbidden City, Tian'anmen Square).

I've been tired from the touristy stuff but hope to experience the night life the rest of the week :-) We will be attending Closing Ceremonies and then flying out next Monday (25th) evening. It's hard to believe I have been here almost a month. I'm looking forward to returning home though and catching up with friends and family. After watching other athletes compete and seeing them walk around the Athlete Village, I'm finally realizing that I am an Olympian.....for life. Before, I just rowed, it was my 'job'....nothing special. But as I was watching other athletes, I thought they were the coolest thing and I just kept thinking, "Wow, they are the best at what they do and they're competing in the Olympics. That's cool" I am blessed to have had this experience and opportunity. And I owe alot to the support of you all. So many of you have sent well wishes or just emails of inspiration and it has meant alot. Thank you to everyone and I appreciate everything you have done! Maybe you'll see me again in 2012.........

Until next time,



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