Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi Oi Organs

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The mayor of Gold Coast, Queensland, addresses the athletes and supporters at the opening ceremonies, while Aussie swimmer & Olympic gold medalist Brooke Hansen looks on

A snapshot of life

Everyone you meet at the games is on a journey — and each journey is different. Some of your mates show up at the games after a difficult year of illness, or personal challenges, and just making it to the starting line is an achievement.

Turbulence and Clarity

The games brings out emotion in all of us.

The House

Instead of staying amongst the tourists, a friend of mine invited a gang of us to share an airbnb vacation house on a canal just 10 minutes from Surfers’ Paradise (perhaps the most inaccurately named town in Australia). All the others in The House live in Melbourne so I was the odd wombat representing New South Wales, though again it’s easy to forget since I rarely wear anything representing a uniform.

The House at the opening ceremonies, which weren’t that painful. The formula of more athletes, less bureaucrats is spot on (Good job Brooke).
The House held agood chunk of Team Victoria and one guy in New South Wales colors. I’m really not very good at wearing uniforms. Especially those sized for non-athletic bodies.
Can you spot The House resident whose formal attire is currently in storage? Luckily the lighting makes everyone look reddish purple.

Protest: Spirit of the Games

I would like to formally register my grievance for not winning the Spirit of the Games award, given to an athlete who best represents the ideals of transplant athletics. Here is my resume for this games:

  • Yelled at a volunteer official for not knowing how many laps I had done in cycling (yes, I am supposed to keep track of this).
  • Told some really great kids to get out of my way at one point.
  • Asked a teammate to give me some space when my head was all messed up.
  • Failed to wear my team uniform, except during the beach parade, and only then because my other shirts needed washing.
  • Asked a woman sharing a post-race hot tub with me if she was married, with her mom (just outside the hot tub) glaring at me.
  • During social hour in the Surfers’ Paradise RSL, I audibly said, “This is the most @#$% depressing place possible.”
  • Squeezed out carpet-scented moisturizer from a XL sized bottle for people entering the Star casino.

Sudoku’d

I’m good at maths. I know my numbers between 1 and 9 quite well. I’ve played Sudoku online and can solve most Expert puzzles in the app I use on my iPad. Well, that is apparently not enough to avoid humiliation in the Sudoku competition of the Aussie Transplant Games.

Winners in Sudoku, winners in life.

5K Road Race

I am better at running than Sudoku

Swimming

Having Bryan Williams back at the games was so great. Bryan is a heart transplant recipient who does the Rotnest Island 20k swim each year, and is such a strong swimmer. Swimming in the pool where the Commonwealth games was held was a dream — my first outdoor competition ever, and the visibility was stunning. For example, I could clearly see that coming out of my turn in the last 50 meters of the 200 free, that I had a couple of body lengths on Bryan, and then I could clearly see him 5 seconds ahead of me at the end of the race…

Of course I had to pick the one photo where I’m on top of the podium. Bryan (left) won the 200 and 400 by large margins (along with the 50 fly), and Michael (right) was 2nd in a lot of the hardest events.

Cycling

To those about to bike, we salute you.
Scott takes first place in the 30k road race!

Triathlon

For the second time in a month, the triathlon I entered was shortened to just swimming and running due to rain conditions. So, our race became a run-swim-run (4.2k / 600 m / 4.2k), which suited my strengths but wasn’t particularly fair to others.

Yes, Ladies, I am old enough to live in this retirement community in just three years.
The senior community held a BBQ for us, complete with veggie burgers, live music, and an ice cream truck. I also learned that if I marry one of the single ladies there, I can move in immediately.

The results

As always, this is the least important part of the games, but here for record keeping and just so I can say, “Read the blog,” to anyone who asks, “How many medals did you win?”

  • Sudoku: Dead Last.
  • 5K Road Race: 3rd overall, Silver medal (2nd in age group).
  • Swimming: Bronze in 400 free, Silver in 200 free, Gold in 100 free, Gold in 100 backstroke, Gold in 4x50 free relay, Silver in 4x50 medley relay (I did backstroke)
  • Cycling: Silver in 5K time trial and in the 30K road race.
  • Triathlon: First overall, Gold.

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