Yesterday, U.S. Olympic athletes and enthusiasts took over Times Square to celebrate the 100-day countdown to the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
Athletes staged beach volleyball, fencing, and gymnastics demonstrations and mingled with spectators.
The best part? We chatted with the competitors—and Olympic hopefuls! These men and women are the rock stars of sports and fitness, and they got us inspired and psyched for the Games. Here are three reasons to get excited for the July 27 Olympic Games kick-off:
1. The athletes are freaking inspiring. Thinking of skipping spin class? Think about beach volleyball star Whitney Pavlik who told us her training regimen is a full-time job. Literally. Girlfriend is working out 40-plus hours a week. You can put in five.
2. They’re adventurous! Scared to try a new work out? Channel Caroline Queen, who hopped in a kayak at summer camp when she was just 10 and is now part of Team USA as a Slalom Kayaker. Use stories like this as motivation to step out of your fitness comfort zone. Stand-up paddling could be an Olympic sport someday.
3. You could be the friend of a friend of an Olympian! We tested out Samsung’s U.S. Olympic Genome Project, which allows you to use Facebook to see, within seconds, how you’re connected to Olympic athletes, hopefuls, and alumni. For example, I found out that an Olympic rower hailed from my hometown (and that like me, lots of Olympians like Arrested Development).
We also scored a sneak peek at Topps’ first-ever Olympic athlete trading cards, which serve no actual purpose, but will probably make kids happy. (Also, does anyone want to trade me Michael Phelps?)
BONUS REASON: London is awesome. Okay, it will be impossible to top the Beijing opening spectacle. But for a few weeks, you’ll get to listen to British accents, dream about riding double-decker buses, and get an extra dose of gossip on what the Middletons are wearing to the Games, if you feel like it. Most importantly, your morning commute won’t be slowed down by an influx of Olympic tourists, which almost nearly happened!