Friday, August 15, 2008

Wedensday, August 13th circa. 8.15PM (CST)

So, aside from all the fun things that we get to experience at the Olympic Games there is also a serious aspect to the competition, and that is, funnily enough, competition! Our moment to shine came on Wednesday evening Beijing Time when we rocked up the pool and made waves from lane 8 in the heats of the 4x200m freetyle relay. As individuals we all did an awesome job with our veteran Helen Norfolk just missing out on breaking the special 2 minute mark from a dive to lead us off and then Lauren Boyle posting 1minute 58seconds for her 200. I took over from Lauren as the third swimmer and would like to tell you what it felt like, except I don't really remember! I don't recall thinking about much except for the occasional "ouch this hurts" or "breath, you have to breath". I do also remember touching the wall and thinking that if someone were to pass a motion saying the scoreboard should display the individual swimmer splits for relays, they would become very popular indeed. I just saw that we were 7th when i finished and i had brought the total team time to 5minutes 58.17 seconds which was looking pretty good for the New Zealand record (I later found out I had gone 1minute 59seconds for my 200 which is faster than I've ever been before). Tash finished off our relay with an amazing swim of 1minute 59seconds as well to bring our total time to 7minutes 57seconds, but was judged to have left the block 0.01seconds (yes, 1/100th of a second) before i touched the wall which meant we were disqualified (DSQ). That also meant that our final time was therefore not counted and so the old NZ record still stands at 8minutes 54seconds - we would have broken it by 7 seconds. Regardless, we all swam an amazing race and have so many great things to take away from our competitive olympic experience. It was even more special for us as it was Helen's last race; she is now retired from international swimming after an international career lasting 11 years. We are all so proud to have been a part of that relay with her and will miss her dearly from the team.

Thank-you to everyone that watched and supported myself and our team. We all feel a huge amount of pride to be able to represent our country at this level of sporting excellence and have been inspired further to set the record books straight by endeavouring to get our team back onto the world stage for the World Champs in Rome next year. We are determined to be better and faster next year and in four year's time for London, and are all looking forward to the journey ahead of us. Thanks again to all the friends and family and acquaintances that have sent messages to us and turned on the TV to see us in action.


Dad said...

To say that the effort of your team was fantastic sounds a little trite, but have no doubt this was a fabulous performance. Your own swim was gutsy and courageous - we could not have been more proud of what you and your team mates did - to smash a very good record as you guys did shows great character - you have all done New Zealand proud and fully justified your selections.

Sarah said...

Hayley, I watched you swim an amazing race. Your time was phenomenal, you're a star. Very, very well done.

Sarah said...

Oh and congratulations on being an aunt again!

The Palmers said...

What an inspiration you are!! It was so exciting to see you swim on TV in the 800m. We look forward to hearing more from you. Congratulations!!

Ken, Sherry and Baby Jill

Betsy McCord (U.S.) said...

Your American friends are very proud to know you. You are so lucky to have competed in an Olympics. This BLOG is great! We plan to keep reading as you roll over Rome and liquidate London. Most important: keep in touch!

Betsy McCord (Liz's mom)