Oct. 28, 2004
The 2004 Summer Olympics may be over, but for former Husky rower Anna Mickelson the fun has yet to stop. Mickelson, a silver medalist on the USA eight team, was recognized along with several of her teammates from coast to coast. It started Oct. 16 at the Husky football game against Oregon State, and concluded more than a week later with an exhibition race in the Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston. In between, Mickelson was among 150 Olympic athletes honored at the White House and was among 110 other women in sports recognized at the Women's Sports Foundation Annual Salute to Women in Sport Dinner. Mickelson chronicled her adventures with photos and a journal for gohuskies.com.
By Anna Mickelson
What an incredible honor it is to compete for the United States at the Olympic Games, yet the tributes don't stop after the medal ceremony.
After the UW honored my team at the Husky football game on Oct. 16, I flew to New York City for the Women's Sports Foundation Annual Salute to Women in Sport Dinner. More than 100 of the world's best female athletes were in attendance, including 52 Olympians from the Games in Athens.
Early Monday morning, as in really early west coast time, the athletes who competed in Athens flew down to Washington D.C. for a visit to the White House. When I met up with my teammates, I was overjoyed to see them again.
After breakfast, we walked over to the White House for a tour of the East Wing, refreshments on the White House Lawn and a message from President George W. Bush. The President congratulated us on our achievements and then he and the First Lady took a photo with the group. It was too bad he did not have time to shake each athlete's hand, so I will have to try for Beijing for another shot at meeting the President.
Immediately after the photo, the athletes attending the WSF Dinner in NYC got back on the plane to head back. This was my third time attending the dinner and it has become the most inspirational event I have ever attended. Staged in the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel Ballroom, this event honors women in sport of the past, present, and future. As you can imagine, being a part of the parade of 110 athletes from all sports, many of which are my heroines, I am inspired to mimic their incredible feats. More than $1 million was raised to help advance the lives of girls and women through sports and physical activity.
After the most exciting Monday of my life, I headed to Princeton to train with the National Team coach for a few days before heading to Boston for the Head of the Charles Regatta. At the Charles, the men's and women's Olympic eights did a row through and signed many autographs. Even though we knew it would be tough, our eight decided to race on Sunday as well. We had fun passing Canada's eight to the cheers of people on the banks, but our lack of practice since the Games showed, as we placed fourth.
We capped the weekend off with a team dinner at Maggianos and once again headed our separate ways. I hope the memory of our great achievement will continue to bring my eight together for years to come and give us the motivation to support the unfailing Olympic dream.