In my last post, I wrote about my exciting trip to watch the U.S. Olympic diving trials with Deloitte. Just as I expected, the trip was wonderful! I met great people — from Deloitte professionals to Olympic athletes – and I explored Seattle and had a wonderful time.
My trip started with an early-morning flight to Seattle. In true Seattle fashion, I was greeted with a steady stream of rain and cool temperatures that lasted the entire weekend. Of course, I would expect nothing less from Seattle, and the weather was a nice break from the Texas heat. I headed to the hotel where I met the other two interns who were also selected to attend the trials. One intern, Liz, was a consulting intern in the Costa Mesa, California office; the other intern, Wendy, was a discovery intern from the Detroit office.
Deloitte’s Seattle office was a great host to us. The recruiter greeted us at the hotel, and we had a delicious lunch with one of the partners. It is always interesting to hear how someone rose in the ranks at Deloitte and where his career at Deloitte has led him. During the weekend, we had free time to explore Seattle. We browsed Pike Place Market, visited the first Starbucks and the flagship Nordstrom, took pictures by the Gum Wall and Fremont Troll, and just enjoyed walking around the city.
I have never seen a diving competition in person, and it turns out that diving is one of the most frightening sports to watch. We watched the 3 meter men’s synchronized diving finals, the 10 meter women’s synchronized diving finals and the 10 meter men’s diving finals. What makes diving so scary? First of all, the entire crowd is silent while the diver prepares, which just increases the anxiety in the room. Secondly, 10 meters is the height of a three-story building! I am afraid of heights, so watching the athletes dive off of a 10-meter platform like it was no big deal was baffling. Lastly, the athletes dive so close to the platform that I kept thinking they were going to hit their heads on it. Of course, they were all seasoned veterans, so they flawlessly pulled off elaborate flips and tricks, which brought the crowd to their feet in applause.
At the trials, we had access to the VIP tent where we met past Olympians and the families of the divers. When we told them we were from Deloitte, they all told us thank you for supporting the U.S. Olympic Committee. It was pretty cool hearing how Deloitte’s sponsorship impacts them and helps make these athletes’ dreams become realities. Also, at the trials, we met some of the athletes, including David Boudia, who made the Olympic team for a second time. It was interesting to hear how the athletes train for four years for this one event, and the trials decide their fates. For some divers, the trials were the last time they would compete in diving. One athlete, Ben Grado, said he was “hanging up his Speedo” and moving to Las Vegas to join the Cirque Du Soleil cast of O. Steele Johnson, a 16-year-old diver, said he came to the trials for the experience to compete with veteran athletes. While he did not make the Olympic team, he said to watch for him at the Rio Olympics in 2016.
Like I said, the Deloitte Seattle office was a great host. After the trials on Saturday, they showed us around Seattle a little and brought us to the Space Needle. Luckily, the sun had come out, so we could enjoy the beautiful view from the top.
I loved my mini-vacation to Seattle, and I did not want to return to summer school and the Texas heat. But of course, all good things come to an end. From meeting the other members of Deloitte to speaking to the athletes to sight-seeing, I had a blast in Seattle! I am happy I had the opportunity to witness history being made as the U.S. Olympic diving team was selected.