Does it get any better?

I thought my trip to my first Olympics was complete. Sport dietitian for the triathlon team and personal coach to an Olympian. I mean, what could make it any better? That answer was revealed to me last night.

Before I left for triathlon, the USOC had mentioned that it may be able to get staff members a ticket or two to an Olympic event. We had to choose our top three "wishes" and submit them. I chose women's soccer, tae kwon do (as I work with those athletes) and BMX cycling (I was a BMX aficianado back in my youth!). When I returned from my time from triathlon, I learned that I was to receive women's soccer tickets. Fantastic I thought since I grew up playing soccer and coached women's club soccer at Colorado State University during my graduate school years (we won the National Club Championships my first year by the way!). Well, it just so happened that the tickets were for Thursday, August 21...the finals. Not only was this special because it happens to be my Mom's birthday but it just so happens that the US women qualified to play in the gold medal round against Brazil.

Can you even believe it? I was going to watch the US women's soccer team defend their 2004 Olympic Gold medal! I arrived a bit early so I could catch the second half of the bronze medal game between Germany and Japan. They were tied at the half but Germany came out strong the second half with two goals to seal their place on the medal stand. Then came the gold medal game. Their were about 51,000 of my "closest friends" in attendance and while words cannot begin to describe the feeling I had sitting about 50 meters from the field in the bottom row seats, believe me when I say that it was spectacular.

I had grown up with soccer. It taught me many things and I had traveled parts of the world playing it. I am coaching my son's soccer team because of the positive influence it had on my life. I had followed World Cup soccer growing up. The US, Italy and Brazil were my favorites with Germany rounding out the top four. And there I was, sitting in a country 7000 miles away from home, watching the United States women go for the gold.

The match was nothing less than unbelievable. While Brazil dazzled the US with their fast footwork and ability to break to open field, the US women took advantage of the few shots on goal and made one count in about minute 5 of the first overtime. After regulation time ended in a 0-0 tie, two 15 minute halves were played to decide gold and silver. The parting minutes of the second overtime saw quite a few Brazil shots on goal but our keeper made some phenomenal saves and our team played stellar defense.

Hats off to our US women's soccer team! Go USA!

Enjoy some photos from last night's match...And oh yes, does it get any better? Well, yes it does...I get to come home in 5 days. That is the only thing I am looking forward to!

Coach Bob