2000 Sydney Olympics Journal -
Part 1
Kendall Cross

The flight I was NOT looking forward to!

I'm forty minutes from landing in Sydney, Australia. It's been a terribly long journey from my front porch steps in Boston, MA. In all, it's been roughly 22 hours in the air with a short pit stop in Los Angeles. I left the US on a Wednesday and will arrive on Friday. Although it seems like a two-day flight, it's not. The catch is: we cross the international date line, which throws us a full day forward.

This jumbo 747 is packed to the gills with excited Olympic fans and Sydneysiders (as they call native Sydney residents). Most of these Sydneysiders are returning from a vacation scheduled to avoid the influx of people arriving for the Games (I understand the tally is close to 8 million). Wow! It seems to me, they're returning a little early. The Games are only halfway complete.

I simply can't wait to be around all of the hoopla that surrounds the Olympic Games. These Olympics will be the first I've experienced since competing in '96. I have waited for this moment for four years. I have wanted to see what the Games were like without all of the stress, pressure and crazy emotions that come with competing in them. In fact, I have only actually seen one other event in the last two Olympics combined ('92 Barcelona & '96 Atlanta).

Upon arriving in Sydney, I will travel three hours to Canberra where the US wrestling team is training. The team is tapering their workload, as they are less than a week away from stepping onto the mat. I will don my wrestling shoes once again, and help the team in any way possible. Honestly, their work has been done. It's all mental from here on out. Some of them will focus on bringing their weight down to "fighting weight." Others will rest their legs for the ensuing battle.

As for me, I'm just looking forward to getting off this plane. Sydney 2000 awaits!

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