ATLANTA - Amanda Weir smiles as she recounts her trips to the Olympics. She's getting ready for her third, and feels like she has a better handle on the moment now than she did before her first time on the world's biggest stage.
"But also everything hurts a lot more at 30, so I had to factor that into it," she adds with a laugh.
Weir is training for the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro where she'll swim in the 4x100 meter freestyle relay team for the United States. Weir is now 30 -- her first trip to the Olympics was in 2004, fresh after graduating from Brookwood High School in Snellville. She went on to swim one season at the University of Georgia before transferring to Southern California. She'd then leave school to turn pro.
Weir's first Olympics was 2004 in Athens. Missing out in 2008 still stings, but she returned in 2012 to the Games in London.
"2012, I didn't know if that was my last time or not, but it's always in the back of my mind," said Weir. "It has been over 12 years, my Olympic career. When I look back on it like that, it's a lot. It's over a decade of competing at this level. It's so many memories ... just, kind of emotional."
This time, Weir is confident in her team and herself this time -- being 30, she says she can train as hard as ever, though recovery from training and competition is a little more difficult. She looks forward to being on a swimming team full of Olympic first-timers, and will happily dish out restaurant suggestions when the entire team works out at Georgia Tech at the end of July before heading to Brazil.
Weir has three Olympic medals to her name -- two silvers and a bronze, all in relay events. She hopes to bring another piece of hardware back to Georgia.
"I felt so much support and excitement from the city [leading up to the Olympics]," said Weir. "I don't know if it's because it's the third time around or what, but I really felt like a hometown girl. It was really cool."