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Abby Johnston
Johnston Blog #1: Packing for London
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 07/13/2012
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Duke divers and 2012 Olympians Abby Johnston and Nick McCrory will blog throughout their experiences at the Olympic Games in London. Look for updates from Johnston and McCrory over the next couple of weeks as they prepare to represent the United States in individual and synchronized diving.

Johnston Blog #1: Packing for London (July 11, 2012) 

Today, I am packing for the Olympics, but I started mentally packing years ago. For instance, whenever I saw something patriotic at a store, I'd buy it and think to myself, "I'll definitely need this if I make the Olympics." To name a few of the items I've purchased, I bought a pair of red, white and blue Nike high-tops two years ago and pictured myself walking to the top of the podium in them. Last year, I couldn't say "no" to an American flag tank top that I could wear while cheering on my teammates. This spring, I bought wall decorations and ribbons to hang in my apartment in the Olympic Village. As I put each item into my suitcase, I'm reminded of the excitement and uncertainty that I've felt in my pursuit of the Olympics. I've dreamed of becoming an Olympian for years (16 to be exact) and when that dream became a reality, it was even more magical than my six year-old self ever envisioned.

Every day, I look at my Olympic ring in awe and it reminds me that my work is not yet completed. These past two weeks, I have been training in the pool and weight room, while also mentally preparing myself for a competition that is out of the ordinary. While training recently, I could not help but notice the similarities this meet will have with previous ones. In fact the similarities are striking; I will be competing against the same girls as I have before, with the same judges critiquing my every move and when I look in the crowd, I will spot my mom waving enthusiastically like always. Yet this meet will of course be different from the rest; there's just something about the Olympics that makes my heart skip a beat. Luckily, my synchro partner, Kelci Bryant, who competed in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, understands my apprehensions and has been giving me insider tips from her experience. She has advised me on matters from the format of the competition to the layout of the Olympic Village, and more importantly how she coped with the emotional roller coaster that is sure to come with such a huge competition. All of these thoughts help prepare me for what is to be the biggest competition of my career. Needless to say, I cannot wait to get on the plane tomorrow and begin my Olympic journey.

Abby Johnston