Saturday, August 9, 2008

CATCHING UP WITH: Kara Patterson caught up with Kara Patterson (left/photo courtesy USA Track & Field), one day after the Skyview High School product marched with the rest of Team USA in the Parade of Athletes at the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics in Beijing.

Patterson, who will be a senior at Purdue University this fall, won the javelin at the US Olympic Team Trials-Track & Field in Eugene, Oregon last month, throwing a meet record 191-9. She enters the Olympics with a personal best of 202-0, the second best thrower in US history since the javelin was reconfigured in 1999.

The Vancouver, Washington native competes in her event on August 19th at 9:00 am Beijing time (6 pm Seattle time on August 18), with the finals on August 21st at 7:20 pm Beijing time (4:20 am Seattle time). graciously thanks Kara for taking the time to email us. Kara, how's training progressing?

KARA PATTERSON: I've been really pleased with my transition to life in the Olympic
Village, including adjusting to the time zone! Training has been going really well; I feel strong and fast and sound in my technique, although I'm excited about the opportunity I have to still work on things before my competition in a week and a half or so.

It is amazing to be surrounded by incredible athletes every day at practice and know that I am a member of a formidable Team USA. Beijing is an amazing city. Have you had the opportunity to absorb the sights during your time?

KP: I hope to see some touristy places tomorrow (Sunday). I have the day off from training and would like to get some sightseeing in before I get more concerned about resting up for competition. I will stay off my feet more as competition gets closer, and I want to take the opportunity to see something as amazing as the Great Wall or the Forbidden City.

Patterson, who has been on two other US national teams during her career, elaborates on the travel prospects the sport offers by saying, "One of my favorite things about track and field is the opportunity it grants its participants to see the world." What were your thoughts on the Opening Ceremonies Friday night?

KP: Words cannot describe the pride I felt in marching in the Parade of Athletes for my country.

The crowd was chanting, "USA! USA!" as we walked out of the tunnel, and I was not surprised one bit that I had tears in my eyes. Simply the size of the venue was overwhelming, but to see it completely filled with excited spectators blew my mind.

I couldn't take enough pictures once we were taken onto the infield. The torch lighting was absolutely incredible; trying to take a picture of the lit torch was nearly impossible because my hands were shaking so much!

The competitive fire lit in me was definitely fueled by the entire ceremony. Being a part of something this enormous and being reminded of it's size with such an astonishing celebration is really something I can't explain.

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