August 1st, 2012

Letters From London: FINALS!

Caroline Burckle

Staff Reporter

Letters From London: FINALS!
photo from Clark Burckle

Burckle family relishes Clark's huge swim in semis

WOW! That's all I have to say.


What a night! My cousins from Florida are here now and it has added to our family fun extravaganza. Luckily we haven't lost anyone on the subway yet. My cousins had some great tickets, and they were kind enough to give one to me so I could be close up to watch. Then my dad and Dan Sykes also had a stroke of luck and scored tickets that were close with Collin and Daniel, so they we're right by us. Perfect.


First of all, my brother has advanced to the top 8 finals of the 200 meter breastroke. He is an OLYMPIC FINALIST! What an achievement. Words don't describe the feeling I felt when he barreled down the finish for yet another “Burckle Lunge” into the wall to earn 2nd place in his heat.


Let me just say, this event is stacked. Meaning, it’s probably one of the faster events of the meet and the closest in time (all top 8 finishers are within a second of each other). The sprints usually bode well for this tight range but for a 200, this is extraordinary. Makes his advancement to the finals that much sweeter. For all you swimming fans out there, that's like taking the distance from your knuckle to your fingertip as the span between 1st and 8th place. That’s just nuts!


Tonight will be fun. Most of all, Clark is having a blast. He messaged me after and said again how much fun he had. I saw that as he was grinning ear to ear as he marched out for the race!


Let me not forget a few other highlights of the eventful evening session:

  • My 2008 roommate from Beijing, Allison Schmitt, set the Olympic Record for the gold medal in the 200 Freestyle, clocking a 1:53! It was INCREDIBLE. And what better person to do it than Schmitty herself -- class act and an unbelievable person with a whole barrel of jokes and laughter everywhere she goes. I LOVE "Al", so this just brought tears to my eyes! Very deserving.
  • Michael made history last night! 19 medals-- the record for the most decorated Olympian. EVER. He never ceases to amaze me, and I am thrilled that he could achieve this. He has put so many years of sweat and tears into this sport and has expanded the popularity of it for all the world to see. Let's just say USA made a great name for itself in the pool last night!


So we got to relax a bit this morning, I am sitting here with my massive coffee, hard boiled eggs, turkey ham and oatmeal all bundled up ready for another rainy day here in London. It may be cold and gloomy outside, but it won't stop our clan from getting up and walking the streets of London to see the Westminster Abbey!


And finally, a tweet from Clark: “Thanks everyone for the support! Especially all the Kentuckians giving me a reason to be so proud of where I come from!!”




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