Reese Hoffa: Chocolate donuts are my secret weapon

Shot putter Reese Hoffa of Team USA is blogging for Fourth Place Medal from Beijing. Check back here often for updates.

Sunday 8/10: On the road again

Today is moving day for me; I check out of my room in Dalian, China and grab some breakfast. We hand our bags over to the guy that has the big truck so he can transport them to the airport. We are on the road by about 7:45 and we of course have a police escort so will not have to stop. For some reason it seems like this trip is taking a lot longer than when we arrived - I guess it must be a feeling of not wanting to leave the training camp.

We get to the airport and we have a dedicated side away from the rest of the passengers and we have boarding cards waiting for us, which makes things really fast. Before I know it I am already at the gate and they have a special waiting area that is complete with a lady handing out drinks to everyone. This is first class all the way around from entry to the airport to when we leave. They even let us board the plane first and get settled before filling the rest of the plane.

The flight is quick, about an hour, and we land back in Beijing with enough time to watch some beach volleyball while we wait for our bags. We hand our bags off and are loaded on the bus bound for the village and then collect them when we get to our section in the village. I store my bags in my room and the only thing on my mind is to get something to eat, and luckily for me the dining hall is right across the street. After lunch I pack my laundry bags and drop them off, then I'm off to see how to get my wife in the village on Tuesday. Criss Summerlot then grabs me and puts me on a bus that is headed for Beijing Normal University where I get my massage and get my first look at the facility where I will throw tomorrow. It is very nice and the food there is even better than the food at Dalian.

On the way back to the village the rain starts pouring and I know that it will be a long walk back to my room. By the time I get back to my room I am dripping wet and a little chilled. I take off the wet clothes and put on dry ones. I unpack some clothes from my bag and start to prepare for my practice tomorrow. I'm making sure I have everything that I will need because I plan to stay at Beijing Normal as long as possible. I am now off to bed and will be waiting for my wife to call and tell me she has landed in the morning.


Monday 8/11: Training day

I wake up in the morning and I already know it is going to be a great day and that is because it is a throwing day. I get up and put on the clothes that I had laid out the night before, and then I walk over to athlete's services to see if my wife Renata got her day pass. The lady there tells me to talk to her later that night and that is not a problem because I will be spending the day at the Beijing Normal University (BNU).

I catch the bus with about three minutes to spare and we get to the BNU in about 20 minutes. I run upstairs for breakfast and then down to the game room for some entertainment. I play Rock Band to start off with and I quickly find out that I am not very good at the drums and move to my natural instrument of the guitar. I play for an hour or two and move on to Mario Cart where I find I am pretty good and it almost makes me want to buy the Wii.

Lunchtime rolls around - I meet Don there and we talk about what we want to get done today and I give him the secret weapon for the Olympics. I give him chocolate donuts, which have been know to give us both good luck over the 10 years that I have know Don. If it continues to work I will definitely have them for Don for the World Championships next year.

I go back down and play more Wii and watch some weightlifting on TV before heading out to throw. The practice goes well and we are right on track for where I need to be for the games - though I do miss my cheering section of athletes that would watch my throws during the training camp. When I am done I go and lift in the weight room and do a few jumps to work my legs a little, since we are keeping it really light for this week. I go back to the game room play some more Mario Cart and Rock Band before dinner.

After dinner I get back on the bus for the village and talk with some friends. Once I get to the village I go and check if my wife got a day pass; which she did and now tomorrow will be another great day. Now the only problem I am having is trying to contact her to tell her she can come tomorrow. If she does not call me tonight then I will try again in the morning.

Photos via Reese Hoffa.

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