I hope all of you enjoyed the Oprah show that aired today. It was great to be around all the other USA Olympic Athletes once again. When I arrived at the Hilton hotel on Michigan Avenue, the lobby and hallways were filled with athletes. I felt like I was back in the Olympic village.
We rose early the morning of the show and took double decker buses, via police escort, to Millennium Park where the show was going to be taped. I sat on the top of one of the busses just in front of the USA basketball team.
When we arrived at the show Jason Lezak, Cullen Jones and I went to a private room where we were prepped for the show. They had a private breakfast for us in the dressing room. It was pretty funny when they told us they were going to put make-up on all of us. We all laughed. Jason could barely believe he was having make-up put on him.
On the set of the show I sat in the front row with the other three relay members. Across the aisle from me, about three feet away was Kobe Bryant. It was fun to see all the USA basketball guys again. We got to meet all of them when they came to watch swimming in Beijing!
After we were finished taping the show we were setting up to take a picture. Kobe and I were standing next to each other. He looked at me and smiled and patted me on the back. He told me how proud he was of me for winning that gold medal on the 400 Free Relay. He was so excited when he was talking to me...Kobe continued to talk with me and described how that was one of the most amazing things he had ever seen in his entire life.
Talk about ridiculous.
Seriously, Kobe Bryant telling me that a swimming race that I was in was one of the coolest things he has ever seen in his life. I was amazed and totally thrilled. I just talked to him about it and was super excited. Partly I was excited because of his happiness. Mostly I was excited because whenever people bring up that relay my heart starts pounding!!!
After the show we got a chance to take pictures with Oprah. The entire experience was great. I feel truly proud that I am able to represent the USA!!!