Behind the Scenes at the Olympics: Climber Kyra Condie Takes PEOPLE Inside Her Tokyo Journey

Behind the Scenes at the Olympics: Climber Kyra Condie Takes PEOPLE Inside Her Tokyo Journey
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If you've been following the Tokyo Summer Olympics from home and wondered what this most unusual Games has been like for the athletes — half a world away from their families, under strict COVID-19 protocols, but still in the biggest competition of their lives and surrounded by the world's best — well, Kyra Condie has some insights.

The 25-year-old American climber, who is making her Olympic debut in Tokyo alongside her sport, took PEOPLE inside her first few days in Japan in a series of first-person videos on PEOPLE's Instagram Story.

The video diary shows Condie arrive at the athlete's village with her teammates — with enough luggage to barely squeeze into an elevator; "it's kind of embarrassing," she jokes — as well as explore the famously enormous athlete dining hall.

"Wow it smells so good, it smells like wood," she says as she makes her way through the village from the bus.

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Kyra Condie
Kyra Condie

Kyra Condie Kyra Condie in the athlete village in Tokyo for the Summer Olympics

"Home for the next few days," Condie says as she points out an entire wing of the multi-building village which is full of America's 600-plus athletes.

And, at the dining hall for her inaugural meal, Condie piles her plate with several different culinary choices: "I decided to sample everything because I couldn't make any decisions."

She also shows off her room next to teammate Brooke Raboutou (Condie was lucky enough to score a single), plus their "so sick" view and the "absolute carnage" they created while going through all of their Team USA swag after arriving.

The "weirdest thing" she packed?

"It's probably these little dolls that my uncle's girlfriend made of my parents," she says in one video, holding up two knit toys before reaching over to add a knit cupcake "that if I press — it's them cheering."

Along with the different protocols the athletes are following, including daily health and temperature checks, Condie also breaks down the competition space where her sport will make its first appearance in the Olympics, blending three different kinds of climbing.

Kyra Condie
Kyra Condie

Photo by Andy Bao/Getty Images Kyra Condie (left) competes in May.

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Kyra Condie
Kyra Condie

Photo by Andy Bao/Getty Images Kyra Condie in May.

It all "looks really sick."

The bouldering walls are "a little bit more slabby," which means there's not as much overhang but the lead wall is even more slabby and "that's exciting, because I like overhangs," Condie says.

But, boy, that heat: "I am so red climbing at the venue for the first time," she says. "It is extremely hot." Pro tip? Wear an ice vest.

And while Condie will be climbing without the usual cheering section, her family sent their support from home in the form of letters. Condie isn't shy about tearing up as she reads them, including one from her grandma.

"I'm just an emotional wreck," she admits.

To learn more about Team USA, visit TeamUSA.org. Watch the Tokyo Olympics now on NBC.

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