While the Olympics may be over, my family is still celebrating because my host-sister won the gold! The United States Women’s 8+ won the gold medal in their 2k race on August 13. For those who don’t know, for the last three years, my family has been hosting a rower from the national team. Their official training center is about 15 minutes from my house, and a lot of the athletes look to host families for housing. A little over three years ago, my mom saw an ad on Facebook that these athletes were looking for host families and we looked into getting more information. Months passed with no news. Just a day after my mom deleted her initial email to the host family coordinator, she heard from the coordinator that Amanda was looking for a host family.
A few days later, we were in contact with Amanda and set up a time for her to come over and meet us. Just in our two hour conversation, we knew that Amanda was a going to be a perfect fit in our house. She lived in the spare room across the hall from mine, so I finally got to see what having an older sister was like. We would sit in our doorways and chat about our days in the evening and have Beyoncé dance parties on the weekends. Her training and my sister and I’s school/work always came first, but we of course liked to have fun, too. One of my favorite things we did together is our annual Spooktacular Pumpkin Fest, a day in October where we would spend the whole day baking pumpkin treats, invite some friends and teammates over to eat them with us, then spend the evening at a local haunted hayride.
We were also lucky enough to meet and get to know her family over the years that she spent with us. By hosting Amanda, we really gained another family. Getting to know her parents, siblings and later her fiancé has been so wonderful. Before she moved out last weekend, we had a dinner for her with our families which was the best way to celebrate her amazing achievement at the Olympics and also begin to say goodbye 😦 Here are some pictures from her race and some of our fun times together!