Friday, August 10, 2012

Olympic Day - ??

Alright everyone! I'm sorry, I failed miserably over the last few days on updating this blog. My apologies. The last two competition days went by like a whirl wind!

Our prelims swim didn't go as well as we had planned, but finals we were super happy! To come as far as we have is fantastic, and I know this is an experience I'll never forget. Also, I remembered the knoxing thing! People have been asking what it actually looks like...crazy I know. But here ya go! Step by step.

The objects needed
So that's what it all looks like before the process begins. We have to make sure our hair is wet, and brush it up into a tight pony tail. I just use one hairband wrapped 4 times, but some uses 2 hairbands to make it extra tight! A comb is used to make sure your hair is smooth after the hairband is put in. After that's in place, I take my hair into two pieces, braid them separately, and then wrap them around into a bun. Using those hairpins to pin it in place before putting a hair net on it! (no, not over my entire head, just wrapped around the bun! Think ballerina.) Weird right? Then comes the Knox. 3 packets, and some borderline boiling hot water later, we end up with this:

Gooey Knox before it's put on our head

Looks disgusting right? Oh well! Then you have to take that paint brush (which some will recognize as a brush used for putting on hair color) and literally "paint" it on your head. It depends on the consistency of the knox, and how tightly you did your hair as to how well it's going to turn out. Spain's knox is always perfect, and I have yet to figure out how they do it. Until then, this is the end result!

Mind the crown...

My coach refuses to let hair fall into our face as we swim, so she tends to give us what we call a bobby-pin crown. The knox keeps our hair out of our face, but it does only take water to get it out. If you're in it enough, the knox melts right out! So if it's not a good knox job, you end up with hair in your face while you swim and that's just really not a pretty picture.

I'm sure I left out a few steps, like making sure you stir the water until you don't see any more bubbles, and use a comb to begin if you really need to get the knox deep into your hair, and how it starts out gooey and if you walk outside in the cold it'll automatically freeze to your head...details like that. haha but you get the idea!

Suits courtesy of my AMAZING mother!!!
I still don't think it's fully hit me that I can officially call myself an Olympian. It just feels like the end of another international competition! As if I'm going to go back home, take like 3 days off and go back to practice. Not how I'm going to be going home, packing my things, and then not really slowing down from visiting people until mid-september! Craziness I know. Really though I've had an amazing experience, and it's not over yet! Our competition is done, but there is still a few days left before we leave to go back to the States. There's also Closing Ceremonies to look forward to!!! I'll always remember that moment when we were standing on deck for our Finals swim though. Talk about energy.

How cool!?
That photo was taken by an NBC reporter who has followed my trip to the games from Dallas. Great guy!

Now that I'm done with competition, I can really enjoy London. I've been to the P&G house, where there's anything you could DREAM of. There's huge TV's, there's 3 different places to eat, gigantic pillows mixed in with the couches and tables and chairs, a salon, a Mancave, it's amazing. There's also a USA house, where all the USA athletes plus family and friends can go to relax and just hang out. They have a USA store there too. How awesome is that?

My parents were here to see me and I can't say how much it meant to me. We went sight seeing, and of course saw the most important things:

I knew I wasn't a muggle
Three cheers for all the Harry Potter geeks out there like me. haha! I was told I looked like Hermione Granger as a child, though I'm not sure how much like Emma Watson I look now. Either way, my parents made sure to head to Platform 9 & 3/4 because of how HUGE of a fan I am. I even perfected my british accent thanks to memorizing ALL of Hermione's lines in the first movie. I'm such a geek. And I'm totally okay with it! I wanted to really go on a full tour of all the Harry Potter movies scenes and what not, but we ran out of time and I wasn't able to. Oh well, we got the important sight seeing done anyways.

Okay, lets be honest. I'm one of the biggest Harry Potter fans you could possibly ever meet. So comparing the next picture with the one just above, it hits an all time tie.

Tower of London with the Olympic Rings
The Olympics have been my dream, and have officially become my reality. On my parents last night in London, we took a boat ride at night on the Thames and got to see the Olympic rings really shine. So out of the three pictures, this takes the cake no doubt. :)

Night time!
Talk about breath taking right?! My parents have a few photos of me in front of the rings, both day and night time views, but this might forever be one of my favorite pictures. And it was taken on my phone?! Oh technology.

Anyways, we've got a few days of down time, and then closing ceremonies. I'll be sure to take pictures! Hope yall have all enjoyed keeping up with my Olympic Journey, and thank you SO much for being a part of it through this entire time.

Until the next post!

Check out BSU at the Games: Under the Water with U.S. Synchro It's pretty awesome.


  1. Love this Mary! Congratulations again on your wonderful swims. We are all so proud of y'all. Thanks too for the knox post. Please do some spying on Spain to find out how their heads are so shiny and smooth!! So glad to made it to platform 9 3/4. I have pics there too. We just went to southern California and did the Warner Brothers Tour. LOTS of HP clothes and props there. Might be easier to see that than stuff in London. Monica

  2. Mary,
    Thank you for sharing your experiences. Congratulations on all your accomplishments. We're all so very proud of you! Hoping you'll visit Texas sometime after the games (Belton maybe??).

  3. Its been great following you. My daughter just started synchronized swimming with Glass City Synchro in Toledo and has thoroughly enjoyed follwing your olympic adventure! (She is also a huge HP fan and is envious that you've been to The Platform!)
    Congratulations on a fabulous performance.
    oh btw - someone also told be knox can be influenced by the weather, I've yet to perfect the knoxing!