My family and I walked through Olympic Park to the Aquatic Centre wearing matching red shirts with Allison’s face on the front and “GO SCHMITTY!!” on the back.
People from all different countries stopped us to ask about Allison and congratulate us on the silver and bronze medals she had already won in the previous nights. Although we knew she was swimming well, we did not know what was in store for us in the 200 Freestyle that night.
I have never been so proud in my life. As I was watching the 200 Freestyle, I almost couldn’t believe my eyes. My family and I screaming during the race, and when Allison won we started crying and hugging each other. We all ran down to watch the medal ceremony and wave to Allison. Most of the ceremony seemed like a blur because I was so full of emotion, but I will always remember them putting the gold medal around Allison’s neck and raising the American flag as the national anthem played.
We were lucky enough to see Allison for a few minutes after the race before she was whisked away by the media. I gave her the biggest hug ever and she let me hold her medal for a few minutes. It was extremely heavy. I felt like I was holding a piece of history.
The next night, all of the women on the 4x200 Freestyle Relay swam wonderfully. Allison anchored the relay and pulled ahead of the Australian team to help the USA win gold. Missy Franklin, Dana Vollmer, Shannon Vreeland, and Allison had huge smiles on their faces as they did a lap around the pool deck with their medals. Allison threw her bouquet of flowers to a little kid in the stands and it really touched me to see how excited that made the child and her family.
Two gold medals and two Olympic records in two days. Incredible. We couldn’t be happier or prouder of Allison.
Go Team USA!
Kirsten Schmitt is a 25-year-old Canton resident and the sister of Allison Schmitt, a member of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Swimming Team and a bronze medalist in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Kirsten is a proud University of Florida alumna (Go Gators!). She attended law school at Washington University in St. Louis and is licensed as an attorney in Michigan and Florida. She enjoys writing, spending time with family, and volunteering with animals.