Well, I said I'd go today, "rain, hail or shine" and boy did it rain!
It was a little hectic inside the VWHPC because it was also Squad Photo Day, so young gymmies were running to and from the autograph table in between doing poses in front of a grey backdrop. The gym has a brand new floor mat, big and blue and bouncy as you'd expect it to be.
Ash, Georgia and Lauren were seated (in that order) at a table in front of a GA banner, signing printed-out pictures in their Australia t-shirts and trackies.
I managed to snap a pic of Britt and G-Bro standing nearby watching Ashleigh. All the gymnasts would cheerfully ask for name spellings and sign leotards, t-shirts and autograph books as well as the proffered photos. Gymmums were also handing out little flyers, reminding people to vote for Lauren in the Sports Performer awards (see previous post).
It was finally my turn and I did my usual star-struck gabble. I honestly don't know how to exude coolness and calm when it is needed. I didn't ask to get photos WITH the gymnasts this time but I did make sure I let them know there were lots of us who'd followed their competitions late into the night and once again "nearly broke the internet with our celebrations". I also made mention of those overseas fans who were excited with Team Australia's wins (told you I would, Robin!) and each girl was chuffed to hear there was an international following. And Lauren was REALLY amazed to hear that last year's 260 Facebook fans had been trumped by this year's 1,500!
I also managed to tap Michelle from JumpMedia on the shoulder and thank her very sincerely for events like this one, and for 'going in to bat' for the gymnasts at Delhi airport during that whole media blackout shermozzle, and for basically providing excellent resources for fans and enthusiasts during competitions. She was very touched.
Now, the interesting factoid I learned was that today's apperance was planned as something different- In its early stages, was intended for Lauren to pop on a leo and do some training alongside the VWHPC gymnasts and the day would act as an open session from which the public could wander in and out. But there were problems with getting Lauren into Victoria on time, so an autograph session it was to be.
It was a great day, I just hope not too many people got saturated on the way home like me.
Thanks to the HPC for opening its doors again, and to all at Gymnastics Australia/JumpMedia for organising such a great event for fans.
Oh yeah - 'that' medal.
Lauren proudly lay it down it on the table when one little girl asked to see it. It outshone absolutely everybody in the room, sitting pretty on its (naturally) orange ribbon.