Rio 2016 Blog: Kat Simonovic takes the Summer Olympics

Follow along with an ASU swimmer and Walter Cronkite School of Journalism student as she represents Serbia in the Rio Games

Editor's Note: Kat Simonovic is a senior ASU swimmer and Walter Cronkite School of Journalism student who qualified to represent the Serbian national team at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Simonovic is a Serbian national record holder and was an NCAA individual qualifier as a sophomore. In her junior year, Simonovic swam personal bests in the 100 and 500 meter freestyle at the Pac-12 Championships. 

Day 1: (9:20 p.m. BST) Just got to the Olympic Village! It's A LOT bigger than I had expected from seeing the pictures. It's such an amazing feeling knowing that I'll be living in this mini town full of athletes who share the same emotions despite what language they speak and where they come from!

Day 2: (4:19 p.m. BST) Here at the warmup/warm-down pool! On official competition grounds (the main pool is next door). So exciting being around the fastest swimmers in the world. Time to do some work!

Day 3: (7:09 p.m. BST) This might be a crappy picture but it's honestly the most beautiful sight to see. The airline lost my bag and had no clue where it was for 3 days! I got this baby back and was never so excited to see a pair of socks and deodorant in my life!

Today they held a ceremony for each country while they raised their flag in the village! Each country was there and honored their national anthem while their flag was raised! What a cool experience.

Got to see the São Conrado beach today! Wrote my name in the sand too. It was so peaceful, the sand was white, and it was 75 degrees out: winter in Brazil isn't too bad! 

Day 4: (11:11 a.m. BST)

Last night the opening ceremony was something that is difficult to put into words. Every athlete dreams of living this moment and everything I've sacrificed to live in that frame of time was worth it all. The energy I felt from the crowd was insane and it was an honor to be part of the ceremony. It finally hit me. I'm swimming at the Olympic Games.

Day 5: (4:44 BST) First race in the books! Wasn't a PB but it wasn't a big add either so it was a good start. Moved up 6 spots and finished 23rd in the world. I know where I can improve for tomorrow, for my main event. Stay tuned! I should swim around 9 a.m. AZ time.

Days 6-8: (11:02 BST) Yesterday I finished my portion of competition at the games. Finished 23rd and 30th place respectively and I'm so proud of myself. Although I was short of my best time I'm so happy to be learning and participating at the greatest sporting event in the world.

Yesterday at Copacabana beach with my sister enjoying my time off and exploring Brazil! The water is warm and the sand is white. In paradise.

Day 9: Today I was a kid in a candy shop and got the chance to tour the NBC studio where all of the coverage is processed. I'm studying journalism so I was such a nerd. It was a really cool experience and I got to see them pull apart tons of footage.

Days 10-11: (11:33 a.m. BST) Sightseeing and touring around for the last couple of days I have here in Rio. It's such a beautiful city that is rich of culture and there is so much to see. The weather has been really nice and it has all been so much fun. I saw Christ the Redeemer and even got to see the Escadaria Selabon.

Today I got see see a little bit of track and field, watched Almaz Anaya from Ethiopia take the gold and set a new world record for the women's 10,000 meter race. She was taking the longest, most powerful strides it was truly inspiring to see her do her thing.

Watched the Slovenia vs Sweden handball game, and Slovenia won. Woohoo!

Here I watched Russia take the gold for women's foil fencing. I really enjoy fencing since it's such a different sport than swimming. It's one on one and there is no racing involved. It's such a skilled and elegant sport that is really unique to watch, glad I had the opportunity to watch it at the Olympic Games.

Stay tuned updates from Kat and follow her on Twitter @Kat_Simonovic for her latest from Rio.

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