You can do it!

The weather is perfect. It's so perfect, I can smell it. I am beginning to think that the sun always shines in Stockholm,  although my hosts and new friends insist they've had uncommonly good weather here this year. Perhaps, they are right, and the beautiful capital of Sweden is trying to make a good impression for my first time in Scandinavia. 

 Flawless skies. Classy architecture. Sun shimmering on the river. A triathalon.

A triathlon?!


A herd of cyclist zoom pass me. It is only then that I discover that I am in the middle of theVattenfall World Triathlon.

The Old Town section of Stockholm has been transformed into a course for female triathletes, who battle for their country's honor, and the gold's shining glory. They are everything intense, whipping around curves on bikes, while a helicopter circles above. There is a huge screen that shows the live action.

The crowds yell several things I don't understand, but one man's voice distinctly stands our from the rest. 

"You can do it!" he yells as they pass by. In all the excitement I transform from an easygoing traveler, into a sports action photographer, raciing point to point to catch the action. I'm pumped up. 

They switch into the running portion of the event. Every ounce of power is gone by this point, but somehow they find the strength to push on. There is only respect given as even those in last place receive fanfare while passing. No matter the country, no matter the language, it's all about respect.

An American is in first place and is way ahead of everyone else. She's got this. I snap a few photos and yell, "You can do it! America!"

I'm not sure if it makes a difference, but she at least knows she has one fan.

The race isn't over, but I am. All this triathlon watching, photo taking, and patriotism has made me tired. I'm going to sleep.