It is 10:00 am here in Beijing and this is my final hour in the athlete village. The vans will arrive soon to pick up our luggage and away we will go. Back to “normal” life in the states. Leaving all of this as nothing but a vivid memory.
We have been warned that many athletes experience bouts of depression after the Games and I can certainly understand how that happens! It has been one of the most exciting months of my life. As half of my teammates departed this morning for the west coast, only eight of us still remain. Waiting for our United flight to head back to eastern standard time. A time zone that I have not lived in for quite sometime.
A lonely feeling is sitting in the pit of my stomach, as I already miss many of my friends. My teammates have become my second family and in some ways, they know me better then anyone in my life right now. Some of them have decided to retire from field hockey and others will continue on. One thing is for sure, this group of people was special and as a whole, we will never be the same.
I am excited to return to central PA and see my friends and family back home. The support that I received from everyone has been overwhelming and I can never thank you enough. It is no secret that I would not be here if it weren’t for all of you!
After a brief visit on the east coast, I will head to Barcelona, Spain to play for a club team. It is time that I learn some Spanish and take the year to reflect. I look forward to keeping everyone updated on my field hockey experiences abroad.
I will leave you with just one last photo from the Games. Enjoy and take care!
Keli Smith Puzo is a two-time Olympic Field Hockey player, Wife to Inako Puzo, head coach at Miami University, Mother of two young boys and your everyday kind of gal trying to keep it all together.