Given that it is an Olympic year, we competed in many different high-level competitions this past fall to prepare for the Games. One of the last meets of the season was the Amsterdam Swim Cup, which was the first chance for Dutch swimmers (and in many cases Europeans) to qualify for Rio. Therefore, there was much revelry as the organizers tried to make it as spectacular as possible. For example, every night before finals began four men would start banging on drums as two women scantily clad in sequins and other bright objects danced around pool deck. These same women gave the winners of each heat their flowers and Danish cookies.
All in all it was a great event and a fabulous learning opportunity. The schedule of the meet was unlike any other that I have been to before with finals starting at 3:30 pm (a whole two hours earlier than most finals), but by the end of the meet I had acclimated and figures out how to finish strong. This will be particularly necessary for the Olympic Games which in order to be live televised will run on a very different schedule than normal meets.In my last race of the meet the 200 backstroke I won the B Final and therefore received some Danish cookies and flowers. (Somewhere online there is a photo of me with the dancers, but I am having a hard time locating it). It was a spectacular night for my club, as my teammate Javi won the B heat of the 200 Butterfly in a season best time and another teammate Carlos made his Olympic Cut in the same event. This meet gave me the confidence that all of our hard work is paying off and the passion to get back into the pool and train hard!!