Congratulations to the athletes! | Rosannah's Blog

Published 23 August 2016 (AEDT) | Author Rosannah Snelson

© Rosannah Snelson

Rosannah Snelson - girlfriend of Cameron Girdlestone (rowing)

Sunday’s Closing Ceremony signaled that the Road to Rio has come to an end.

For the incredible athletes, I imagine that the road was no easy street, but more of a daily commute requiring perseverance, hard work and bucket loads of grit and sweat.

Now that they’ve reached the end of the road, I hope our team is looking back at just how far they’ve come and the achievements they’ve had along the way.

For Cam, the time between his final and the closing ceremony gave him an opportunity to relax, soak up the atmosphere and make the most of all the things Rio and the Olympic Games had to offer!

Rowing pictogram

During the final week of the Games we spent time relaxing and celebrating with the Australian rowers (who, by the way, are an amazing group of talented, humble and supportive people!). We also met athletes from different sports and together visited different sponsor and country ‘houses’, where we could hang out, eat, watch sport and mingle. This was such a privilege for me as I didn’t even compete! We also donned our green and gold and cheered on fellow Aussies in athletics, kayak and sprint canoe.

It was also so much fun to get out and experience Rio. We cruised the streets of Copacabana and Ipanema, shopped, chatted to locals, sipped fresh coconuts and ate out at incredible restaurants. We also caught the cable car up Sugarloaf Mountain and took in the breathtaking views while enjoying a burger and watching the sailing from afar.

Rowing pictogram

Rio de Janeiro is such a vibrant and exciting city that really turned it on for the Games – I would recommend it to anyone thinking of visiting.

I loved the Olympic atmosphere, where you’d see groups of people walking down the street dressed in their country’s colours off to support their athletes. In every café or restaurant, customers were glued to TV screens cheering on whoever was playing (unsurprisingly the noise levels rose significantly when Brazil was competing). There was such a supportive and electric feeling in Rio and whenever people found out that Cam had competed and won a medal, I switched from girlfriend to photographer as people lined up to get a photo with him!

I am suffering a bit of culture shock since arriving back home, but am enjoying sharing all of my adventures with family, friends and colleagues. I was welcomed back to work with silver streamers, signs and pompoms scattered around my desk. I’m not entirely sure if my colleagues realise that it wasn’t me that competed in Rio, but Cam, and I certainly appreciate their support. In fact, we have been so blown away by support from family, friends, strangers… it seems that Olympic fever really took over here!

On Wednesday I will meet Cam and the rest of the team in the hangar at Sydney Airport for their arrival home from Rio. Having watched this before on TV, I am so excited for this rare opportunity and am looking forward to being part of the crowd that welcomes our champions home - I am now well practiced at cheering!

The Road to Rio is over, but boy the view is sweet from here.

Obrigado Rio and Konnichiwa Tokyo!

Cameron Girdlestone

Cameron Girdlestone

<h5>Rowing hero image</h5>
<p>Rowing hero image</p>
&copy; Getty Images Rowing

Rowing

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