27 August 2012


August 26th
Today we had a tour of the village run by some APC staff. This village isn't as big as the Beijing one so I think that once I get my bearings, it will be pretty easy to get around.

The main thing I wanted to find was the salon for hair, nails and make up. After the tour three of us went back there hoping to book in to get our nails done before the Opening Ceremony. But the salon is fully booked out between now and the Opening Ceremony already! Therefore, the Gliders salon is open! I can do green, yellow or gold base colours, with the option of either green or gold shatter polish on top. I can also braid :-)

After finding out the tragic news about the fully booked out salon I went into the merchandise store. So much stuff! I got a few things and I double checked everything to make sure I wasn't accidently buying Olympic gear (which was still in the store). I'm a #ProudParalympian and I want merchandise with our symbol on it!

Myself and 3 other Gliders found the proper coffee barista in the village before taking our first trip outside the village to the Westfield next door. Oh my it is massive!! Could easily lose one another if not keeping a proper eye out. Someone gave me a dead sea salt hand scrub which did amazing things to my rough basketball hands but the price was a little out of my league so I didn't buy any.

Build-a-bear has a wheelchair option!!
Lunch back in the village was good. I ate out of the African section. Some of the things I ate were too spicy but some other things were really nice. A good thing about the food hall is you can try something new.

We then had some down time and got any treatment that we might need before going to our first training session at the Pavlova (the basketball stadium next to the Village looks like a massive square pavlova!). We had to wear our playing singlets so classifiers could watch us train and know who was who. We did the usual 'photo of our name' photo - I was very excited to be wearing my first ever Nott uniform :-)

 After training was dinner, then recovery, then a cuppa tea then bed.

August 27th
Nothing exciting today. Breakfast, lunch, video session, training session, dinner and recovery! Lots of spare time :-)

- 1 day to go til the Opening Ceremony!

26 August 2012

Cardiff to London

August 23rd
Not much happened on the 23rd - training, shopping, eating, recovering. We also packed the bag we are sending back in the first round of freighting back to Australia. Choosing which things could be sent back early was a bit of a task. It is slow freight so they get back home a few weeks after we do. Anything I might need when I get home I had to pack in the bag going to London.

August 24th
This morning we said goodbye to the bag going back to Australia. I then went shopping for a jacket with no brand name (a 'touring London' jacket). I also ended up getting the London Bus Thomas Sabo charm to represent my time at the 2012 Paralympics. They didn't have any Welsh charms which is a shame - the lady there said they would be a sell out. I told her TS should make a basketball charm - they would be a sell out too!

After training, recovery and showers we had a team dinner at Pizza Express - the same restaurant as the one we went to in Manchester! The night was a special night for us because it was our last night in Cardiff so we declared this night Gliders Goldlows night (also doubled up with the Glider's Karaoke Night)! So we all dressed up in whatever gold outfit that we had brought along with us to dinner. I went a little nuts at Supre before I left Perth so I managed to outfit me and one other Glider with suitable Goldlows outfits. While at dinner, BK and I practiced our skit for the first time. We got a couple of weird looks from the other diners :)

After dinner we went back to our hotel where the karaoke was set up where all the athletes have dinner. This was a bit of a surprise to us Gliders because we weren't expecting a large audience (the Rugby boys weren't expecting to come back from training to a dining hall full of singing and dancing Gliders!). But it ended up being good because the more laughs the better and we even had people from the mens basketball team, womens goalball team, track and field, APC administration and the Cardiff volunteers join in on the fun as well!

BK and I had a great time doing our skit. It basically involved me sitting on her lap with my arms behind her and my legs tucked away under a blanket (that was also covering BK's head). We danced and sang to the Proclaimers "I will walk 500 miles" - and by dance I mean BK moved her legs around to look like their mine and by singing I mean singing along to the chorus because I didn't know the verses and the words weren't up on the tv. We got a lot of laughs so I'm glad our skit was well received. I didn't even care when my legs became uncovered from the blanket and were bouncing around to make it look like I had four legs :)

The staff did a brilliant rendition of ABBA's Mamma Mia and I helped a group of people with the Spice Girl's Wannabe. AM was a crowd favourite (lets face it - she was the only one of us who could actually sing!) and sang a few numbers. Our manager did an appropriate solo song - "I did it my way". Oh, and the low pointers sang "I will survive". So in total, I was involved in 3 different songs. Which is quite surprising since I didn't really organise anything beforehand.

Midway through the karaoke night the Gliders Players Player for the Arnhem tournament was announced - congrats to SC!! We also voted for our best dressed - I won! Woo hoo! I'd like to thank Supre for their cheap and disgusting gold clothes and Accesorize for my sparkly gold shoes :)

My shoes and my trophy!
Afterwards we had to pack our bags ready to leave for London the next day.

August 25th
I'm glad we were only going on a bus and not a plane because my bag was HEAVY!! It took a few goes to close my bag - even with me putting some towels in SV's bag and carrying my toiletries and shoes with me on the bus. I have decided I will buy a small bag to take with me back home and freight the big Australian bag home to arrive several weeks after me.

We took the long drive to London, stopping once half way. It wasn't that bad of a trip. The only bad bit being me falling asleep on my arms and waking up with the worst tingling in my fingers. Took some time to get the feeling back.

SS and I - bus buddies for a few hours
The driver took us on a bit of a tour before going to the Village. We went past Big Ben, Parliament, the London Eye, the Abbey, and the Tower of London (which isn't very tower-ish) before finally driving into the Athletes Village. It is amazing! Much bigger and better than Beijing.

Extra large Benjamin
the Eye - much bigger than the one I went on in Perth!
the Tower of London
Since arriving I haven't explored much. I have unpacked my bag, had some treatment done by MW and had dinner. Dinner! The food hall is amazing! It's really hard to pick what you want to eat and it's hard to go back for more! I had asian tonight. Rice with a veggies, cashue and coconut curry sauce and some chinese broccoli and noodles. Yum! Tomorrow night I might try the carvery :)

Unfortunately there are a few rules about uploading photo's and footage of various places around the Village - so for now, I won't upload any. Instead I will end with this:

- 3 days to go til the opening ceremony!!

23 August 2012

Cardiff, Wales - August 22nd

Today was a great day for me.

Firstly, I thought I had lost my Nokia last night so I took my iPhone out of it's rice bag and it works!! Secondly, I talked with the driver of the bus yesterday and he found my Nokia in his bus! I was so excited I gave him a hug. Lastly, the Gliders have been verified on Twitter! @clarenott10 has officially been verified to be mine. CLICK HERE to find out more about verification.

We then had a free morning. I try to get a soccor shirt from each city/country that I go to for my husband. In Cardiff they have the Cardiff City Football Club and yesterday I was told that the only place to buy their merchandise is to go to their official store at the stadium. So after breakfast I spoke with the transport people to ask where it was and what the best way to get there would be and the bus driver who was sitting nearby said he would take us! So SV and I jumped on an empty bus and were driven to the stadium and were dropped off right by the merchandise store. The bus driver then gave me his mobile number to call him when we were done. 15 minutes later we were getting back on the bus to go back to the Hilton.

After that I took SV shoe shopping which was fun. I bought a pair of shoes yesterday so didn't need to spend any more money but it was fun to help someone else spend their money :-)

In the afternoon we had our first on court session. We had a great session. High intensity - just the way we like it! After that we had recovery with JV, then dinner, then a team meeting followed by video footage in small groups.

Not long now people! Don't forget to check out Telstra Hero Messaging in order to send the Paralympic team as a whole or individual athletes support messages. It means a lot to hear from people back home. The Gliders have been away from home for over a week now so make sure you send us a message! If you want to send us a message CLICK HERE and then click on the big yellow and green 'Send a Telstra Heromessage', then find 'wheelchair basketball - women' in the first drop down menu. Then you can choose to either send a message to the whole team or find an individual player in the second drop down menu.

- 6 days to go til the Opening Ceremony!!

21 August 2012

Cardiff, Wales

20 August 2012
Today was a very exciting today because one of the first things we got to do (apart from breakfast!) was to get our Australian Paralympic team uniform! We had already seen it in Sydney but to finally get it was very exciting. There were some Welsh seamstresses there to do any alterations. My jeans and another pair of pants will be re-hemed and I swaped my opening and closing ceremony blouse for a bigger one.

310 is my 'admin' number on the Australian team
Oh yeah, I also managed to get some rice for my iPhone. It will now spend probably the rest of this tour in a bag surrounded by rice.

After lunch I went with TM and SS for a wander to find the laundry mat. We had a map in our welcome package but it was a little difficult navigating the streets when the street names are slightly hidden. Along the way we found a street performer dressed top to toe in gold and had some photos with him. The Gliders get a bit excited when we see gold :)

We eventually found the laundry and wandered the streets around it while we waited for the clothes to wash and dry. There wasn't much to see, mainly terrace houses and a few small food shops.


On the way back I found the O2 shop and got a UK sim card. I have 15 pounds worth of calls and texts but apparently it is free O2 to O2 so that much credit should last me a while. It costs me 10 pence to text an Australian number. I didn't bother getting a data package because my old Nokia doesn't need it. So no instagram photos from me unless I do it on my Iconia and upload them when I get to the Village.

I hung my washing up (I didnt do the dry option) and then potted around for a while before starting to get ready for the Team Reception at the Town Hall. It was at this moment that I realised I had washed my APC polo so had to sit there blow drying it dry. It was still a little bit moist when I had to wear it.

Qantas put on a small reception at the Town Hall across the road from the Hilton where we are staying. We mingled and schmoozed and ate a little bit of finger food if you were lucky for a waiter to walk past you. We then were given the nod to leave and had some photos in front of the Paralympic symbol (the Paralympic agitos) which stands proudly outside of the Town Hall.


Dinner followed and then I went back to my room and spend a long time opening up all the packets of uniform and putting my name and team number on them in laundry marker. I had a bit of a 'blonde' moment when I realised I was trying to find a tag to write my name on my playing singlet. Duh!!

My first playing singlet with 'NOTT' as my name!! So proud!
I then got a call from my Aunty who coincidently has one night in Cardiff on the tour she has been on for a while. So I was able to catch up with her in the foyer of the Hilton. It was then time for bed but sleep was delayed due to the singing on the streets below.

21 August 2012

Today was a very important day for the Australian team. It was the day the opening ceremony flag bearer was announced! The entire Australian team wandered over to Cardiff Castle where we gathered surrounded by what reminded me of Game of Thrones - a magestic castle with green lawns, cobblestone pathways and remants of stocks and a catapault!

Aussie team on their way to the Castle
We have fans!

The announcement was opened by a choir group called Only Men Aloud who apparently won some UK TV show. After some speeches we had a surprise visit by Australian band Ice House who also performed for us twice. To be honest, I didn't know who Ice House were until they started singing Heroes and Great Southern Land. I took some footage which you can see below. Unfortunately there was a particular photographer who kept getting in the way and I was very shakey when I got a bit excited and was turning around to talk to people and forgot to keep my hand straight.


Wheelchair rugby player Greg Smith was announced as our flag bearer for the opening ceremony and it was great to see how humbled he was to be the chosen one. Only Men Aloud sang our National anthem while Greg sat there practicing for the opening ceremony :)

Afterwards I went shopping and bought a pair of shoes when I was actually trying to find a Cardiff City Football club playing jersey. Apparently I need to go to the actual stadium merchandise store to get one because they wont sell the shirts in sport shops til later in the year.

We had lunch at 12.30 and I am now sitting here on the comp typing up this. I might go for another wonder around the shops before meeting up with the other Gliders for a video session. We have a gym session later today.

- 8 days til the Paralympics!!

Arnhem, Netherlands

This probably won't be very detailed because I should have written something each day rather than wait til today.

16 August 2012
Our first game was against Canada. The Gliders played with foggy brains after all the travel that we did the day before but despite the fact we lost the game, we were still happy with our effort. We fought all the way til the end of the game. Later in the day we played the Great Britain girls and we won that game.

17 August 2012
On the second day of competition we played against the Netherlands. Unfortunately we lost that game, but it was close right til the end! I think that playing three games within 48 hours of traveling took our energy levels by surprise. But these games have given us experiences that we can take into the Paralympics and be better off for it!

Game face! Not a glamorous sport :-)
18 August 2012
We played the Mexicans at 8.30 in the morning. We got the win over them quite easily. The rest of the day we were able to have off which was very nice especially with the amazing weather that the Netherlands was giving us. The Netherlands Olympic Committee facility is surrounded by a golf course and woods.

My 'don't mess with me' face!

19 August 2012
Last day in Amsterdam! We played off for third against the GB girls and won! This wasn't a tournament that needed medals so after our games we showered, packed our bags, watched the Netherlands beat Canada and then got on the bus to leave.

Thank you to Matt Wells for all the great on court photos
Just before getting on the bus I dropped my iPhone in the toilet (was in my lap when I transferred) - I got it out quick smart but it won't register my touch :-( With no time to go find rice, I took out my sim card, shook out as much water as I could, then shoved it sadly away into my bag. Before leaving Australia I had the thought that I would put a UK sim card in an old Nokia and keep my Aussie sim card in my iPhone. So at least I have a phone to use for txting.

The Gliders had a nice surprise when boarding the plane to London - British Airways upgraded us to business class! So the Aussie girls and GB girls had a very spacious 45minute flight to London.

So much leg space!!
A nice surprise always brings a smile to a Glider's face :-)
GB and Aussies in business class
Once in London we went through our first Paralympic processing station before getting on another bus and took the 3 - 4 hour drive to Cardiff, Wales. We arrived after midnight and I finally got to bed as I listened to the Sunday night party goers on the streets below outside my window.

One of two buses taking the Gliders to Cardiff.
Me and SV's room after a bit of redecorating
- 9 days til the Paralympics!