Swiss star Fabienne In-Albon writes from the Olympic Games in Rio, where she will write history as an Olympic athlete.
It’s the middle of the night, I’m sitting in the aeroplane on my way to Rio, we’ve got about 4 hours left, everyone is sleeping and it’s quiet, but I’m wide awake. How could I sleep when I am on my way to the biggest sporting event in the world, the Olympic Games? I am excited, nervous, but also slightly thoughtful. There are lots of questions in my mind. What should I expect from Rio? How will it be at the Olympic Village with all the other athletes? How is the golf course? Am I ready for this challenge? Have I done everything I could to perform at my best in about two weeks’ time? Two years ago, when I started to work specifically for this goal, my vision was very clear, I wanted to be in my absolute best condition flying to Rio, as good as I was ever before. Now, however, a few obstacles in the last few months have set me back quite a bit.
I analyse the last few weeks, review it all, and I know that my team and I have worked extremely hard in the time we had left. And I am very proud of it because as often with me, it wasn’t an easy way.
Only a few more hours until Rio, the excitement is rising with every minute and I will now try to relax a little bit, close my eyes, and the next time I will be opening the computer to continue this newsletter I will already have some first-hand impressions of the Olympic city Rio de Janeiro.
As promised, I am back with some news straight from Brazil. I spent the first three days after my arrival in Rio at the Olympic Village and am still totally overwhelmed. I can’t even put it into words. Everything is way bigger and way busier than what I expected it to be, yet the atmosphere is relaxed and very friendly. Chatting to Fabian Cancellara in the elevator, waiting for some scrambled eggs together with Michael Phelps, getting a nice and friendly “Good Morning” from Justin Rose … just very special. Now I know exactly what athletes mean when they talk about the Olympic Spirit.
Also, the first impression of the golf course was very positive. A pretty cool memory is coming onto the driving range on the first day, being able to choose between seven different balls and, as I walk up to my personal hitting bay with a bag of Pro V1’s, realising that no one else has actually hit a golf ball off this range yet – not a single divot in sight!
But that wasn’t the only highlight, because then there was the opening ceremony.
A moment I will probably never forget in my whole life. Walking into the famous Maracanã Stadium with the Swiss cross on our chests … 85,000 spectators cheering us on … I mean how much better can it get!? It was an absolutely overwhelming feeling, a mixture of pride, honour, excitement and goosebumps all over. It still touches me when I write about it now, and I think this won’t ever change because the atmosphere I experienced in that particular moment cannot be put into words – just absolutely gigantic.
And with all these impressions I have now arrived in Bahia. Together with my caddie Matze and my putting coach Tom I will spend one week here in order to prepare for the Olympic tournament. The first impressions of the course in Rio help a lot. Not only do I know what to expect and which areas of my game I should practise the most, but they also help me to play the course mentally and to visualise several scenarios.
On the 13th, we will all fly back to Rio, back to the Olympic Village, back to where all the athletes live, and back to the place where history will be made.
“If you dream and you allow yourself to dream, you can do anything.” – Clara Hughes