Editor's note: Some material in this first entry in Dan Beery's log was deleted due to security concerns.
Dear Mom, Dad loved ones and dear friends,
Greetings from Bulgaria, I hope this communication finds you well! We are beginning to recover from our 36 hour travel and adventure. We had an uneventful flight and stopped at Athens for our processing. We processed at the American University in Athens. All US athletes stop there and we actually swam in the same pool the US athletes will practice in. It was very nice, however 50 meters is much farther than one would think by looking at it on TV! Yours truly did have a very impressive start off of the blocks, one bystander remarked that I had sloth like reaction time off the platform!
We then took a charter flight to Plovdiv Bulgaria. Let's just say that security is tight. (Section deleted) So, to sum up, MOM DON'T WORRY!!!
(Section deleted) The five star hotel we are staying in has been cleared of all guests except for our group. The pool however has been open to the locals. The women are apparently not constrained by the need to cover their upper torso area with needless extra clothing in the hot Bulgarian sun. The pool has a bar literally built into the pool itself and is complete with boulders and a waterfall. The rowing course is literally surrounded by and patrolled by police and we travel to and from the course in a caravan with police on both sides of our vans. We don't stop for lights, which I am really beginning to love for this dramatically cuts down the commute time. So, to sum up, MOM, DON'T WORRY!!
The boat is moving well and everyone is loose and confident. I feel no pending pressure about the race. It will feel just like the three or four other major events I have raced in. Since yours truly has had to race flat out in order to make this team 2 or three times per week, I am very familiar with a maximum effort, and since a max effort is a max effort, whether in practice, or for a gold medal... I am comfortable, loose and confident.
I can't wait to see you all and I hope you are well!