Photo Credit: Kelly Wallace / iVillage
Friday, 11 a.m. ET / 4 p.m. London: Off to the Opening Ceremony!
Five hours (yes five!) before the Opening Ceremony, we boarded buses -- the early departure is a sign of just how tight security at the Olympic Stadium is expected to be.
In a small taste of what we can expect on a grand scale this evening, a few families chanted, "Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico" while walking to the buses, which are taking dozens of family members of athletes (and this reporter) to the event. The folks from Canada jumped right in with "Canada, Canada" and then Team USA joined along.
We hear the Americans might not enter the Olympic Stadium until about 11 p.m. London time (6 p.m. ET), so we have a long, but exciting night ahead.
Friday, 5 a.m. ET/10 a.m. London: Unforgettable Flag Raising!
I could see Carly Patterson, the 2004 All-Around Gymnastics Gold Medalist, inhaling and exhaling as she sat on the stage during the official opening of the P & G (Procter & Gamble) Family Home. Perhaps she’s a tad nervous, I thought to myself, about speaking in front of the audience. No, she was preparing to sing a beautiful rendition of the national anthem, and said she was more nervous performing here than going for the gold.
While Patterson sang, three Olympic moms, moms of Jordyn Wieber, Ryan Lochte and Sarah Robles, raised the flag, the final event before this 65,000-square-foot facility billed as a “home away from home” was opened up to athletes and their families.
Marc Pritchard, P & G’s Global Marketing and Brand Building Officer, said no athlete gets to the Olympics alone. “It really starts with the moms,” he said before introducing the ad titled “Best Job” that has become a viral sensation.
There was not a dry eye in the audience after the ad played, and while I've seen it more than a dozen times now, it still gets me every time. Pritchard told me that one out of every three people who sees that ad shares it with someone, placing it in an elite category for social media engagement. (One out of eight people typically shares a YouTube video.)
Friday, 4 a.m. ET/9 a.m. London: Glam-O-Mama!
Moms of Olympians got the pampering they so clearly deserve at a newly created salon inside the P & G Family Home. Joy Robles, mom of weightlifter Sarah Robles, gave us the headline of the morning -- this was her first manicure in 30 years! And as for getting her makeup done, well, she said she usually only wears makeup for weddings and funerals. Now she can add the Olympics to that list!
Rita Wieber, whose daughter Jordyn is a gold medal favorite in gymnastics, had her hair washed and styled, and also was treated to a makeup session. As for Jordyn, mom says she is very relaxed and called Thursday night excited about meeting Ryan Seacrest and Bruce Jenner. (She’s a huge Kardashian fan.)
For Ike Lochte, mom of swimmer Ryan Lochte, let’s just say tissues need to be close by -- at all times. Any mention of her son and how proud she is of what he accomplished, and the waterworks begin. But this time it was a real emergency -- she just had her makeup done! We'll have more on Ike and her supremely talented son coming up shortly on iVillage.
To view all of Kelly's behind-the-scenes Olympic Games blogs, go here!