Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Golden Goggles

As many of you already know I was in New York City this past weekend for the Golden Goggle awards that were hosted last night November 17, 2008. I arrived in the city Saturday and had a wonderful night with my sister, Hillary, and her friends. We all went out to a bar on the lower east side called the Back Room. During the Prohibition Era it was a real Speakeasy and much of the decor and theme remains today.

Sunday my Mom and Dad arrived in the city. It was really wonderful to have the entire family together. As I get older I realize more and more how special it is to all be in the same place at the same time. When I was young I took it for granted and just thought that is always how it would be. My sister Hillary lives in NYC, my parents live in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and I live in Texas. I really cherish the time we spend as a family. No matter what, family will always be there, and there is nothing better in the world than sharing time with them! On Sunday night we went to Mario Batali's restaurant called Babbo. I will have a more extensive post about Babbo in a couple days. The restaurant was a great place to go and spend the night. Some of the food was simply outstanding:)

The highlight of the weekend was undoubtedly the Golden Goggle awards. Everyone wore tuxedos and formal dresses. It was a very well done event. At 5pm all the athletes went to a VIP reception with the big donors of the USA Swimming Foundation. I really enjoyed meeting everyone. The beautiful thing about this event was that it brought people together that come from all walks of life, that were all unbelievably excited about the swimming in Beijing. As an athlete it is continually inspiring and invigorating to hear and see how excited people are/were about the Olympics.
I always tell everyone that the crazy thing about being in Beijing was that we had absolutely no idea of the impact we were making on the US. For two weeks we were living in a bubble. When I finally got back to the US I realized how excited people were/are. It makes me so proud to have represented the USA and to give so many people something to enjoy and get excited about.

When our 400 Free Relay was chosen as the best relay performance, the four of us marched up to the stage and all gave little speeches. I was the first to go. I was thinking later that night about something I wish I had said. I will tell ya'll so you know because it holds true for many of you too...

A dear friend told me last week that the US athlete's pursuit for Gold in Beijing represented the Hopes and Dreams of America. When he told me this I almost lost my breath and felt the most unbelievable sense of pride and dedication to America. What I think people really need to know is that all the Americans who have been there to support us and make our dream of going to the Olympics and competing possible, are really the ones deserving of the praise. I was able to go to the Olympics and do what I love to do best, compete. However, without the help of my family, friends, coaches, teachers, USA Swimming staff members etc. fulfilling my dream would never have been possible. The Golden Goggle I won is really a testament to all the support I have been given. My support staff is who really deserves this award!
In addition to the thrill and honor of the award, I met some really notable people as well. I got a chance to meet former NY Giants running back Tiki Barber. World famous magician David Blaine did some unbelievable card tricks with me and Dara.
I met and talked with Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. It was super interesting and unique to meet someone of such high stature. He is a man who really influences the laws that govern this nation. However, I have to say I met someone who, for me, literally Trumped Justice Alito...it was 'The Big D' aka 'The Donald' aka Donald Trump. I have read all of his books and have admired him as being an unbelievable businessman for many years. He presented the final award which was the male athlete of the year award. After he presented the award the festivities were over. I made my way over to the area I knew he would be coming out of. I got my picture with him and actually talked to him for about five to seven minutes. I was really surprised by how friendly and interested he was. He was asking me all about my experience in Beijing, and congratulating me on my award and my successes, it was great! He introduced me to his wife Melania. Wow she is even more gorgeous in person than she is in pictures.
This was definitely a night to remember:)

25 comments:

Alix said...

Congratulations on your shared Golden Goggles award!

As another foodie, I'm looking forward to your post about Babbo.

Sparkl0413 said...

It's great to see and hear about you haveing a great time in NYC. You worked hard so you deserve the rewards you recieve.

Pants said...

Great job at the Olympics and congrats on the awards

Mary said...

It sounds like you had a great time! I remember the first time I went to NYC and I was just amazed at the sheer size of it in comparison to where I live. That and all the food and people... It was a little overwhelming!

Congratulations on your award! And nice suit, haha. The orange is definitely a nice touch.

HunnyBunny said...

So happy for you! :o)

crystal said...

wow. i have to say i was extremely touched by what you said about who really deserves the praise. your family, coaches, friends, etc. it still amazes me just how much work and effort and dedication and pride it all takes. i can't speak for other people but sometimes i DO forget about all the work that it's taken to get you where you are today. i'm just so overwhelmed with pride for all of the olympians who represented the USA in beijing. especially the swimmers. and i'm seriously ecstatic at the fact that the sport is continuing to grow in popularity and people who might not have had interest for whatever reason, are getting into it. so yes, i'm very proud of you. and i love how dedicated you are. and how open you are with your fans.

switching modes a little bit... the GGs look all swanky. it's sort of funny *to me anyways* how quickly the results made their rounds on the internet. and you're lookin good in your suit! i'm really glad you had a good time in NY with your family too. there is absolutely nothing like that "home" feeling that you get when you're around family.

this is pretty much the longest reply i've made - ever. sorry for hogging your space :)

ps. congrats, again, on the win.

Nicole said...

Sounds Amazing. Everyday I still wish the Olympics were on because I love them so much. This year was the first yea I was old enough to comprehend everything that happened. I only got to see a few bits and pieces because I was away at a camp but I did see most of the bug USA swimming events. These were by far my favorite. I would love to know the felling standing on the top of the podium and getting a gold medal for just being the best you can be. I love this blog because it gives me an insight into what you go through and how it feels.

Miss Melanie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Miss Melanie said...

My heartiest congratulations!

MariaAsp said...

Congratulations Garrett!!!

Garrett said...

Babbo will have a much more extensive post soon.

Thanks for the support. It was truly an honor to win with the other relay members!

NYC is a bit overwhelming but I was enthralled the entire time.

It is essential that we always remember where we came from and those who helped us achieve our goals...

Miss Melanie said...

The best way to tackle NYC is to remember its motto as "The Big Apple" - take one bite at a time!

How was skating? Will you talk about that in your Babbo post?

Isabella said...

congrats Garrett!
Last year when I went to New York I visited the Trump Tower!It was amazing and very luxurios!!!:D

Kait said...

Congratulations Garrett!

I enjoy time when my family is together too. They are very important to me so I try to cherish the moments.

Very touching about who deserves praise.

Thanks for sharing pictures with us! Looks like you had a great time!

I'm a fan of Mario Batali! I will have to check out Babbo sometime! I'm also a fan of Bobby Flay! A few months ago, when I was in Las Vegas I went to his restaurant, Mesa Grill. It was excellent!

Congrats once again!

Garrett said...

haha we actually weren't able to go ice skating...no time.

We are all going to go as a family when I go back to Milwaukee. There is a great outdoor rink there too.

Family is the BEST!

I've heard Mesa Grill is wonderful.

LUCY said...

Congratulations Garrett!

You look very handsome in your Tux!!!

Delia said...

Ok for some reason my post didnt take before :(

Congrats on the award... well deserved, as if we didnt know that was coming!!!! Im glad you had a great time in NY... i'm sure you are happy to be back home enjoying the warm weather.

I know what you mean about spending time with your family, my whole family lives away from me..... is very hard!!!!

Taylor said...

Mario co owns two restaurants in Los Angeles call Pizzeria Mozza and Osteria Mozza. They are right next door to each other. Osteria Mozza is more of a sit down having few-course type of restaurant with a mozzarella bar. Pizzera Mozza is...well pizza of course. thin crust neapolitan type pizza. ie pizza margherita, fennel and sausage. Most of their produce is organic or from Wednesday's Farmers Market. You should totally come out to Sunny California and hang out with us Chefs at the farmers market ;)

Garrett said...

Thanks for the complement on my Tux...I loved the burnt orange!

I would love to try Mario's other restaurants in California, they sound wonderful...The picture on your blog of that food looks outstanding:)

Miss Melanie said...

Mesa Grill in NYC was fabulous. I sat on the upper level so I could see all the activity below. The funny thing is, I can't remember what I ate, but I know it was terrific.

I wish I could live in NYC, just for a year, so I could eat at all the wonderful restaurants. Philly tries really hard, but there is only one NYC.

You know what would be awesome someday... a GWG "meet-up" to eat out in NYC.

I need a new cooking-video fix - any on the horizon?

Mark said...

Hey Miss Melanie: That's a great idea. It would be fun. Maybe next year.

Isabella said...

Then I'll invite everybody in Tuscany to eat! XD XD

Daringale@gmail.com said...

Congrats on an amazing awards. I want to know what Trump had to say?

Garrett said...

I've heard Mesa Grill uses a bunch of different types of chili's in their dishes...

I would love to go to Tuscany and eat!

Trump was very personable and endearing. I was really delighted at how interested in my swimming and life he was:)

Miss Melanie said...

I remember what I ate at Mesa Grill - good thing the online menu is the same...

Blue Corn Pancake with Barbecued Duck, Habanero Chile-Star Anise Sauce

New Mexican Spice Rubbed Pork Tenderloin, with Bourbon-Ancho Chile Sauce + Sweet Potato
Tamale with Crushed Pecan Butter

Dessert - had no room!

I notice that as I get older, my tolerance for spicy foods has gotten higher.


Blogspot Template by Isnaini Dot Com