With the Olympics a few days away, U.S. cyclist Shelley Olds of Groton, Mass., talks with Playbook about what motivates her.
Also, check out our coverage of the Olympics at ESPN.com here.
How are you prepared physically?
"I spent the entire winter away from my boyfriend and my dog so that I could be in the most ideal place for me for training. I have designed my training and race program for this season so that it is best for me to reach my peak during the Olympic Games. My body will be ready for the event. I am sure I have prepared as best that I can to perform to the best of my ability on July 29."
How are you prepared mentally?
"I will be 100 percent focused from today until the last minute of the race, and I will not leave the Olympic Games venue with any regrets. I will give it everything I have. I will make the most of this incredible opportunity, and I will race with all of my heart and soul."
I understand you’re going to be wearing some special jewelry. What does that signify?
"I actually wear special jewelry (stones and minerals) every time I race. I am a firm believer in the power. When I am racing, I wear a small mineral necklace close to my heart and lungs that gives me strength and energy. I also carry a stone in my back jersey pocket that I believe protects me and keeps all bad energy behind and away from me. I will be wearing my new EnergyMuse Celebrate the USA crystal bracelet in the Olympic Games road race. I believe it will offer a source of strength and represent my national pride."
What does winning at the Games mean to you?
"It would represent the culmination of many years of hard work and sacrifice. It would make me cry tears of joy for the accomplishment, but the biggest joy would come from seeing how proud my parents were of me."
What does nationality and patriotism mean to you?
"It is the only place in the world where you can find people from all walks of life living together, free to live the life they choose. I love my country and racing in the Olympic Games and representing the USA is an incredible honor."