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Rio Olympic diaries: Cheering on Allison Schmitt

A message from the Olympic swimmers sister, Kirsten

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Hello from Rio!

The Schmitt family arrived Saturday morning on a redeye flight from the United States. We are thrilled to be in Brazil to cheer on Team USA and Allison!

I couldn't be prouder of my sister, not only for making her third Olympic team, but also because of the courage she has displayed and obstacles she has overcome along the way. By sharing the story of her battle with depression, I know Allison is helping countless people and breaking down the stigma surrounding mental health issues.

We landed at 8 am and Allison's first swimming session started at 1 pm Rio time, so we had to hurry to check in at our apartment and figure out how to take public transportation to the pool!

The Olympic Park seemed just as big and breathtaking as it was in London. It's so cool to see people from many different countries supporting their teams and athletes.

Allison did an awesome job competing in the 4x100 freestyle relay during morning preliminaries, and had an especially great finish. At night, it was wonderful to see Team USA win a trio of silver medals.

Our first day in Rio was filled with excitement, but one of the things that impressed me the most was the kindness and friendliness of the locals. Everywhere we went, people introduced themselves and went out of their way to help us out.

READ: Allison Schmitt ready to win gold in Rio Olympics

My sister Kari lost her metro card and was having trouble purchasing a new one from the machine, so a stranger offered to buy one for her. At midnight after the swimming finals ended, we got on a bus full of Brazilians who started a USA chant for us.

We spent this morning enjoying the beautiful Rio weather at the pool where we are staying. Even though it's winter in Brazil, temperatures are approaching 90 degrees!

I've been told by Brazilians that this is a "cold spell." Tonight I'm excited to see some tennis and gymnastics. Go Team USA!!

Kirsten Schmitt is Allison Schmitt’s sister who is in Rio de Janiero to watch her compete in her third Olympic Games.   Kirsten is blogging for Local 4 & ClickOnDetroit.com.