staff, July 18, 2012

As a dual citizen of the U.S. and France, Indiana swimmer Margaux Farrell is competing for France in the 2012 Summer Olympics. In her latest Big Ten Olympic Journal entry, Farrell details her latest travels, her training, and how she felt was handed her first official Olympic swim cap. "I realized, "This is it," Farrell writes. "It?s here!" Read her journal entry among others in our Big Ten Olympic section.

Here's what Farrell sent us Wednesday afternoon.

"So July 18 was our first official day of our final training camp in Dunkerque, France. Seeing as how my last post was almost three weeks ago I owe you plenty of updates.

Indiana standout Margaux Farrell is a dual citizen and will swim for France in the 2012 London Olympics. She's sending back Olympic diary entries from London. Read all of our Olympic journals.

"My first stop was at the Paris Open where we had a rainy but fun weekend! I got to try on some of my Olympic gear and catch up with people I had not seen since trials. After the meet was over it was back to the French Riviera for some solid training. I stayed in what used to be a military base but has now been transformed into a kind of a dorm, and while my room was beautiful, it did not come equipped with air conditioning. It was rather warm to say the least!

"Training outside every day in temperatures at 85 degrees and higher was definitely hard,  but it was a good week of work and I got a nice tan out of it.

"That tan is sure to go away rather quickly though because yesterday we arrived in Dunkerque, France for our final training camp. Now, I?m a bit abnormal when it comes weather because I like rain and cool temperatures, so I?m quite content here. Plus, it's a good adjustment before London since the weather will be quite similar there.

Photos by Margaux Farrell

Right now my main concern is figuring out how I'm going to transport all of my stuff home from London. Luckily, the team is taking care of taking all of our luggage to the Games, but we ended up getting even more gear than what we tried on at the Paris Open.

So in addition to the first round of gear, we each got two large suitcases filled with MORE stuff. There's an umbrella, three pairs of shoes and even an Olympic Wii game.

"As for now we are in a hotel that is more like an apartment with suites for the athletes. We each have our own rooms equipped with mini kitchens and a view of the water. The hotel was also kind enough to give us beautifully decorated tins with sugar waffles, one of this region's specialties. Not to mention, they are providing us with excellent meals.

"As of right now I would say I?m the most excited I have been since first qualifying. It is really starting to hit me. The second I held my cap with my name next to the Olympic rings I realized, "This is it. It?s here!"

"And now it's t-minus nine days until the Opening Ceremonies and exactly two weeks until I race. I can?t even put into words what that feels like. Can?t get too ahead of myself just yet though as I still have some good work to put in this week before really diving into my rest next week.

"Next few days? double tomorrow and Friday morning off to sleep in ? for now it?s lights off and sweet dreams!"