Much of the American Olympic delegation is now in Europe, some in the Olympic Village and others scattered throughout the continent at training camps. Last week, though, the American diving team was in Washington, holding a camp in Montgomery County.
For locals, the opportunity to meet the Olympians and watch them prepare for the games was exciting—even simple practices drew crowds.
For the county and Montgomery Dive Club, which played host at the Kennedy Shriver Aquatic Center, the camp was a reason to improve facilities in ways that will benefit both the club and USA Diving moving forward. MDC program director Doug Beavers said in an interview that this camp spurred the creation of an in-house dry-land training facility, which will better equip the club to produce champions and will position the North Bethesda rec center as a suitable host site for future camps.
For the Olympians, the training and publicity opportunities were great. “The camp was awesome,” said first-time Olympian Cassidy Krug, who grew up in Pittsburgh and made regular trips to the Montgomery Country facility to compete as a child. “The facilities were great. The MDC team and local fans were beyond friendly and really made us feel special.”
For Krug and the other ten members of the team, a Friday visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center was also a highlight of the trip. As four-time Olympian Troy Dumais described it: “I loved it. . . . It’s a phenomenal facility, and it was great to see these people who keep working for what they believe in despite whatever setbacks they may have experienced.”
“It was emotionally uplifting to see how hard these people are working and how much they’re getting out of their time there,” Dumais said.
First-time Olympian Katie Bell said via Twitter after the visit: “Great day visiting the soldiers at the Walter Reed hospital. The things we have in common we both represent the USA and we want to win!”
The team members took that motivation to London with them Sunday, where they’ll begin competing July 29.