June 14, 2000
It is hard to believe that four years ago (after the 1996 Paralympic Games Closing Ceremonies) Matt and I began dreaming of the day that he would make the 2000 Team and that our parents would go with us to Sydney, Australia. Wow...how time flies!
Our dream is now becoming reality – Matt made the team and our parents are also going “down under”. (Genie Boyd, a friend of ours, has offered us her version of what is different about Australia and the United States.)
Genie will be going back to Australia in August of this year to marry Michael Platsis, her Australian gentleman of three years, and Genie and Michael are planning to volunteer for the 2000 Paralympic Games)
As she told us many people in the United States told her not to worry…Aussies speak the same language...”Well, yes, er…sort-of”, she says. (For pictures of places to go, sites and more info. about Australia - I have found a site that may be of interest to you)
We are so excited! Before you know it – we will boarding a plane. This will definitely be one of the most memorable times of our lives. It is so awesome to dream big and see bigger results!
The King household has been rather quiet lately, busy…but quiet. Hearty, the guide dog puppy that we volunteered to raise, went to Guide Dogs for the Blind, Inc.'s school in Boring, Oregon, on May 20. (If you are interested, please read more about how to become a volunteer guide dog puppy raiser). If all goes well...Hearty will graduate and help a blind individual lead a more independent and fulfilling life. Even though, we miss her tremendously, volunteering to raise Hearty was one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of my life. (You can see a photo of Hearty below). If you live in the eastern United States you can also raise a guide dog puppy through Guiding Eyes for the Blind, for more information contact Guiding Eyes for the Blind at www.guiding-eyes.org
Matt is now in Trexlertown, Pa., training...last weekend may have been our last weekend packing for a major trip until Sydney. I am so happy! Last weekend was a usual weekend of preparing for a training trip...these weekends are usually spent packing, packing, and more packing and then running around to every bike shop in town in between Matt's training rides and weight room workouts. Chamois butter, pedal wrenches, more socks...tires, typical bike stuff. The more we can jam into our car - the better. Kind of interesting since I drive a Honda Civic. I know when we have had a successful weekend of packing...because we usually get about two or three hours of sleep and we have several of our friends here for the early morning departures. And, we did it - on June 12 we made it to the airport for a 6:00 am flight!
I have spoken to Matt a couple of times since he has been in T-Town, sounds as if training has been very productive! Matt and his partners will be racing in T-Town on June 30 and July 7 and he will return home on July 12…
The flame of 1996 Paralympics has been extinguished for several years now, but only until 2000 will it be relit in Syndey, where many of our goods friends will be reunited. (You can read an article that Cara Dunne-Yates and I wrote. Cara is one of Matt's teammates and is married to Spencer Yates, Matt's 1996 Atlanta Paralympics captain)
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