Hello from Chicago! It’s been a whirlwind since landing on Tuesday, for me and for all the athletes here. The venue spans a pretty large area from the expo to the north to transition to the south, and between the hotels and venue there are many many multi lane roads of traffic to be crossed!
At packet pickup I got my first glimpse of all the countries in attendance and I started seeing all the different kits at the hotel, in restaurants, and along the sidewalks.
The day I arrived I was able to get in a short bike ride on the lake front trail just to be sure everything was working mechanically. I also got into Tuesday’s swim familiarization. The water was a bit cool and choppy but nothing concerning. It felt good to get in and move around!
Wednesday I hit the expo and bought a pullover and a few gift items from an already packed event merchandise tent. My advice is if you want event merchandise, go early as supplies are limited!
I visited with vendors and even got to see Gwen Jorgensen’s bike getting tuned up!
Then it was time for the team photo, bike check-in for the sprint, and the parade and opening ceremonies. I was already starting to feel the effects of so much walking – and believe me there’s lots!
Taking the team photo required a lift to fit us all in but it was great fun to be assembled as a team for the first time since arriving.
The parade took place on a perfect dry evening with cooling temperatures. I walked up through the staging area and got photos of a number of countries that you can see here.
I met up with Team USA manager Lauren Rios and enjoyed the walk to Buckingham Fountain for opening ceremonies.
That’s all from here. It’s race day and I’m off to get ready!