LONDON – Amanda Furrer says it gives her the chills just thinking about it.
Tonight, she’ll march into the Olympic Stadium with the rest of the American contingent and realize she truly is about to live a lifelong dream.
“The thought of walking into that stadium is just wild,” said the 21-year-old Mead High School grad who is a member of the U.S. shooting team competing at the Olympic Games. “I’m scared I’m going to cry. I’ve worked so hard to get to this moment. I just feel like that’s going to be the biggest celebration any athlete could ever hope for.”
Furrer has been training in Copenhagen since last weekend along with the rest of her teammates because there’s a limited number of training slots available at the Olympic facility in London.
On Thursday she was to fly to England to check out her accommodations in the Athletes Village next to Olympic Park, get outfitted in her Olympic uniform and prepare for today’s ceremony.
On Saturday, she’ll fly back to Denmark, where she’ll train for another few days before returning to London early next week. Her event – the 50-meter rifle, three-position – takes place Aug. 4.
“I agreed it was a good idea to head back out of London just because there’s so much going on during the games, and I don’t want to get distracted,” said Furrer, who began shooting at age 11 as a member of the Spokane Junior Rifle Team, where her dad, Mike, was a coach and her sister, Lauren, was also involved in the sport. “I just want to maintain my focus until I compete, and then I’ll have a whole week to check out the village and do everything else.”
Along with the opening ceremony, the finance student at Ohio State was giddy at the prospect of being showered with official Team USA clothing and gear when she checks in.
“I’m so excited. I’m a huge shopper and I love clothes, and this is seriously a dream come true. Looking at the list of everything we’re going to get, it’s crazy.”
In Furrer’s competition, she’ll take 60 shots with a .22-caliber rifle – 20 shots in three different positions – prone, standing and kneeling. The 2007 Pan Am Games bronze medalist said winning a medal is what she strives for, but she’s not about to put a lot of pressure on herself.
“For me, it’s about the experience, and if I can get there and perform well, and as long as I can be in control of my emotions, I’m going to feel good knowing that I trained properly and did everything that I could to succeed,” she said. “I’m the most relaxed when I’m behind my rifle. It’s where I am in the most control of my life, and I’m really going to enjoy it.”
As she comes down the homestretch of her preparations, she’ll try to get some inspiration from sports movies, music or anything else that’ll get her in just the right competitive frame of mind.
“I’m always asking my Twitter followers to tweet me some quotes for my match,” she said, adding that the support of everyone in Spokane is also a big help.
“Our local community in Spokane has always been behind me so much. They’re almost as excited as I am. They say they’re really proud of me, and that kind of stuff means a lot to me.”
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