While other students scramble to finish term papers, complete group projects, and study for final exams, Stanford junior long-distance runner Katie Torrero is ramping up her preparations for the 2012 Summer Olympics Games in London.

Attending the Olympics has been a dream for Torrero ever since watching the ’96 Games from her family’s living room in suburban Milwaukee.  Torrero’s parents have always encouraged their daughter in her pursuits, and were an instrumental part of allowing her to finally realize her Olympic dream.

“When I went home for Christmas this year and opened up that envelope, it was the most unbelievable feeling in the world,” explained Torrero, “I couldn’t believe that my parents not only bought me plane tickets to London, but had also purchased me event passes to swimming, track and field, gymnastics, and trampoline competitions at the Games.”

Torrero had to hold back tears as she told Flipside reporters how much it was going to mean to her to be wearing her nation’s color at the Opening Ceremonies, specifically in Section 203 on the east concourse of Olympic Stadium.  She also explained that going to the events and hearing the roar of the crowd would be a surreal, possibly life-changing, experience.

“While I still can’t believe how lucky I am to have this opportunity, I also can’t let my daydreams interfere with my current preparations,” Torrero explained, “I still have to find hotel accommodations, scope out popular restaurants in downtown London, and book tours at all the famous tourist attractions.”

At the end of the day, Torrero’s biggest goal is to represent her country the best she can, specifically by not being an obnoxious American tourist and making fun of English people for driving on the wrong side of the road.

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