Coach Bobby Hurley's Daily Updates from the London Paralympics
Date: Wednesday, August 22, 2012 | London Paralympics
Well hello from across the pond. Plane left Lou. 45 minutes late for Chicago where we all met up and flew to London. Got to Heathrow around 8:30 am and did paper work, customs, t v coverage of us coming in. After we waited for 30 minutes or so for the box with the seats and other important parts in it. We find out that it did not make the plane with us and was on the next flight to London. Would be getting in at 11 am. All day long everyone knew where it was but it still do not have it at 8:30 pm. We soon after were ushered to the bus to take us shopping. This bus ride ended up taking around 2 and 1/2 hours. Then the fun began. First Ralph Lauren fitting area. I said fitting area, two tailors there pinning pants and skirts to fit. Taking in shirts and jackets to fit. When they said the belt was two long, another one appeared. This took on average 45 minutes for the coaches(we did not get as much stuff as the athletes). Across the hall to the Nike area. We are talking a duffel bag with t shirts,socks,shoes,work out clothes(again I got one bag the athletes' got 2) Down the hall to have your pictures taken, for what no one could tell us. After this you still had the watch to get, what ring did you want and the size, P and G with a bag full of toiletries. Last but not least the shipping department. One box for free and as much stuff as they could put in it to ship it home for you,(may take 6 to 8 weeks). Now it its close to 4 pm and we need to get to the rowing village, another 3 hour drive back across town. When you arrive here the first people to greet us at the gate were two heavily armed policemen. Machine guns and all. Just to make sure you understand the security level there are three more sitting in a tent next to the gate. Go inside, they check the bus for anything explosive. The top,bottom and all the way around. Now 7 pm and we got to our rooms. We are on the Royal Holloway University campus. Rooms are great. Every where you look armed guards, one coach found out even on a walking path in the woods. Security is no joke here. Going to the venue first thing tomorrow and set the boats up. Will try to take pictures. Bobby
Date: Thursday, August 23, 2012 | London Paralympics
Day two, started off with a bus ride to the venue. About 30 minutes(not to bad) Still no sign of our now famous box. Could things get worse. OH yes they can. We find the boat and talk to Win Tec rep, a very nice man. He informs us that e now have a hull but no riggers for it. This does not matter because we still do not have the box. So to recap we now have a shell with no riggers, a missing box with all the oarlocks, pins,seats and rowing leggs. The weather is good here. Positive additude, at 5:33 I got word they had found the box at the airport, they were looking for a bag all this time. I thought that is why they put the stickers on everything now.
Things are looking up, we now know where the box is and will be delivered tonight and the riggers are being made here as I write this. Tomorrow will be a better day.
Here are just a couple of pictures of the venue and the college campus we are living on ENJOY.
Date: Friday, August 24, 2012 | London Paralympics
Everything has taken a turn for the better. We did acually get the BOX this morning( just a little bit banged up. No it really looked like they unloaded it with a forklift and droped it at least once.) Everything inside did survive the trip. The riggers were completely cut apart and rewelded to our specs. We did get them on the water this evening around 3 London time. Had a good first row, just a bit of a head wind to contend with. NO more erging for them while we are here HOPEFULLY.
They have bikes we can use on the bike path and that is really cool. You can stay with them the full 1000 meters. Myself and Rodger,(the UVA boatman who came to help with boats and helped coach them in Va.) rode along side and figured out what we needed to change as they rowed,. Just a couple of pictures of what you do to decorate oars while bored and to prove they did row. Till later.
Date: Saturday, August 25, 2012 | London Paralympics
Just got back from the course. We had practice early this morning. Still are increasing their splits. Doing 500 meter pieces at 2:04 which means a 4:08 for 1000 meters if they can keep that pace. That should be enough. Watched some other countries practice along with them. Then came the thunder storms and they closed the course around 2. Ron Harvey our men's Arms only rower was on the course practicing and he had to come in early. Tomorrow was suppose to be our day off but because of weather forecast we changed and will row tomorrow and go sight seeing in London on Monday. Later Bobby.
Date: Sunday, August 26, 2012 | London Paralympics
Sunday, we changed our practice scedule so they are now going closer to the race time each day. The weather here is windy. It was blowing accross the course all day long the past two days. Good to practice in the conditions you will race in. I did get to see most of the compitition today. Australia, Great Britian, Poland and France, are here practicing at the same time as us. Everyone looks really good, so the races should be real close. Got a couple of pictures from practice, some rowing and some wild life on the bike path. Enjoy.
Date: Monday, August 27, 2012 | London Paralympics
Hey everyone. It is a holiday here for the whole country. Lady told us on the bus yesterday they are not celebrating anything at all. The country decided they just needed a holiday so they took it. In keeping with tradition here we also took the day off, do not want to offend the host country after all. So we went to the castle to see the queen. As usual she stood us up and went to the country for the week. We decided to visit anyway. Got a cab and did go to Winsor castle for the day. Pretty big place so we could only see some of it. Here are some pics of Oksana and Rob storming the castle. We did see Oksana's mom at the castle this morning just by chance.
Tomorrow we go back to a schedule practice around 10:30 since this close to the race times.
We had a lot of people today say they could not get tickets to any of the events because it is completely sold out. We were told last night that all the rowing was completely sold out for all three days. Enjoy.
Date: Tuesday, August 28, 2012 | London Paralympics
The course is getting a little bit more crowded this week. Today starts the taper for us. They are rowing around 11am so as to get used to the wind conditions on the course closer to the race times. With a cross wind here everyone has complained about lane choice. Definatly is a difference from one side to the other. A doctor who is here with team USA is working with adaptive sailing. We sent her up the course on the bike to scout it out. She can read the wind currants at different points on the course. She came back and told Rob and Okie where to look for wind shifts tomorrow. They are going to check it out when they row.
The mood is getting alot more serious as we get closer to Friday. Okie and Rob are only rowing once a day and are doing different peices each time. They look really good when they row and are confident in their ability. Still pretty relaxed on the paddle peices. I can hear them joking and talking with each other during those times. The last lap is a cool down and to break it up, they started playing the game of horse. Each one trying to make up something the other can not do.(such as letting go of the oars, tap the boat,tap the water, tap the oars and then take a stroke.) This game will go for 2000 meters and some times all the way to the dock. Today one of the assistants asked what game they were playing in the boat. It has been exciting to be here and watch all of this. Tomorrow the BBC, I think, is doing an interview with each of them before they practice. Will let everyone know where if I get the link. Just a couple of pictures from today taken from the bike path on the other side. .
Date: Sunday, September 2, 2012 | London Paralympics
It was just as we thought it would be. A race for second or third. We started a little slower then we wanted to so we were in last place for just the shortest time. China started to make a move at 500 as we expected. France was kind of a suprise to us. Great Britian was pushing us the whole way. We took a push at 500 and gained a small advantage on them. They came back but we answered it and stayed ahead . It was so close they did not even think they medaled for a minut or so. We beat Britian by 2 tenths of a second. A picture of the winning crew on the dock afterwards. Enjoy. Bobby .