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5 September 2000I have to do a bulk email on this one; sorry or else I would be spending all my time on the computer and not training, HA.I flew home on Wednesday the 30th of August (my birthday, oh no 33, for those that didn?t know and by the way where were all my presents????) for a short break before all the hoo haa started and boy was I glad I had that wee break to prepare me for the last few days!!Shayne stayed in Sydney, glad to get rid of me for 3 days so he could finally have a break too and get his little runabout all refurbished before the games start and finally have some peace and quiet and not have to go out on the water coaching. Shayne has spent these last 3 years either out there sailing with me or in the coach boat with me every hour I have done he has been there. The awesome news is the NZOC have given him a day pass, which allows him access to the sailing site, Olympic village apart from the food hall and on the water for the Olympics. He will be able to watch and help me and be legal, he even gets the 32 kilos worth of uniforms and bags we all received, yeeha. We will have enough uniforms to out fit all our families!!!!I left with the sailing team on Saturday the 2nd back to Sydney. We all wore our ceremonial uniform. The uniform is very smart, quite trendy and comfortable which is always a bonus ? but it is still a uniform, I aren?t so good with conformity!! I think the whole concept of all the sailors travelling together as a team was novel for all of us, the smart comments were flying from one to another for the next 24 hours. I laughed so much over the last few days I am now exhausted and have to escape back to our quiet little apartment back in point piper.We were the first of the NZ team athletes to leave NZ for the village so we were really the guinea pigs to see how things ran before the rest of the team arrived. Only the officials and medical staff were already there.We arrived at the airport and got a police escort from the baggage claim area out to the buses and on to the accreditation center. Here we got the magic pass that gives us access to all those special places the Olympics create. Then we were bused to the village.It was so exciting to move into our rooms to find our beds covered in Olympic pressies, we even get to keep the bright blue Sydney 2000 bed spread!! Who needs birthday pressies when you do an Olympics? Our room overlooks the running training track so we get to spy on athletes doing their thing, this morning there were about 20 boxers all punching the air and skipping around in circles.The village is brand new; the NZ apartments are only about 4 mins walk from the main eating hall and transportation depot. Great location, the officials have done a great job in decorating our area with kiwiana stuff, flags, AA signs, Maori carved entranceway and NZ posters everywhere. It all makes the place feel very welcoming.The food hall is HUGE. Every meal we have there the place gets more and more packed. In a week it will be a zoo. Like every other Olympics the best part is checking out all the other athletes and uniforms. We are actually lucky our colours are black and white. Some of the other uniforms are such gross colours you would never be able to wear the kit again!!This year we got given the most amount of gear ever. 32 kilos worth. Luckily the bag they gave us to put it all in has wheels. Every piece of clothing we got to try on sample sizes so everything we have fits perfectly this has saved hassles of other games.To get to the sailing venue at Rushcutters bay we catch a bus from the transportation depot to the ferry. The ferry is this fast river cat thing that is very quiet and fast. The whole trip takes an hour. It is a bit of a mission all that travel so during my competition I am going to stay at our apartment. A lot less action, weirdoes, cues, travelling time and hassles. I finally got on the water yesterday after 5 days and it was a relief to be out there again burning off steam after all the officialdom of the last few days. Unfortunately today the wind came thru ? unforcasted at 30 plus knots. Lots of the boats out there, got caught out, and came limping back with broken gear. Fortunately I was a little unorganized today and was still on the beach when the wind hit so here I am looking out my window at these white squalls going past ? looks like I will be running instead today.It has been a lot of fun so far and I am sure there is a lot more to come. Even 3rd time round it is still a buzz and exciting to experience all this Olympic stuff again.Lets hope the wind and weather, brain and body, all does the right thing too.More laterBarbara

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