NEW YORK, NY, USA - It has been a whirlwind few weeks for No.15 seed Timea Bacsinszky, who came away from her debut appearance at the Olympic tennis event with a silver medal in women's doubles alongside former No.1 Martina Hingis.
Bacsinszky had planned a quiet summer that got louder - and more surreal - with each passing moment.
"I was supposed to get a week of holiday the same week of the Ladies Championship Gstaad," she mused after a decisive win over Vitalia Diatchenko. "It was tough for me because at one point I knew it would be a tough year and I would need to rest at one point. But I chose to play Gstaad because it was home, and I was all the time complaining there were no tournaments in Switzerland. So I had to assume my status and assume everything what I said in the past, so I played it."
A brief respite after playing at home saw her spend some time with her boyfriend - even buying a motor boat to cruise around the lake near her home - gave way to the full emotional impact of the Olympic Summer Games.
Here is Bacsinszky on the Olympic experience, in her own words:
Growing up in Lausanne you have all the Olympic committees around. I practiced next to the IOC, the house of the IOC. You have the Olympic museum right there.
As a kid at school, every school of the region goes there to visit the Olympic museum least probably at least three times.
It's a highlight in Lausanne. You have many things to do, but for tourists, it's just amazing.
It means so much. When I was watching the Olympics, I would never ever really think that I would win a medal one day, and we did it together - against all odds.
Playing next to Martina was not an easy position. But I'm super proud of myself because I held her up sometimes during this event, as well. She was maybe less motivated at the beginning. She was like, 'Oh, crap, I feel like everyone is letting me down, but you're the only one who stands here with me.' So, like, okay, let's do it.
I really never never ever thought that I would be coming back home with a medal one day. It had really made me dream a lot when I was a kid, even though tennis is not really in history of the Olympics.
Something I thought was really amazing, was how the Olympics is not connected to anything. You get there, you get to meet people you don't know and probably will never see them again, but while you're in the Village you just feel respect which is like around everyone there.
There's no aggressive energy. Everyone was nice with me, and me, myself I was shining more than usual. I was laughing more because I really felt the energy of it.
It's only two weeks in a year or three weeks in a year and that's sad, because every competition should be like that. In tennis we say things like, 'Oh, what are your weapons?' Oh, come on, guys. We use weapons for war. But why do we use that in our sports vocabulary?
At the Olympics I felt like you meet an athlete, you just talk for a few minutes or you trade a pin. This is the best Olympic exchange, because otherwise people would be too shy to talk with each other.
This way, you can go to any country in the world and say, 'Ah, Palau. Didn't even know it existed.' Or, 'Tuvalu. Where is it on the world map?'
You get curious and you're like, 'Oh, which sport are you in? What are you doing?' 'Oh, I lost to her,' or, 'I got injured.' Then you really feel how much it means to people. Then, you say, 'Bye-bye, good luck, all the best for you,' and you're probably never going to meet him or her again.
But the human contact, the exchange, is just natural, simple, and it's nice. And all the images that you see from the Olympics are usually full of positive emotions of sportsmanship.
As I came back on tour, you feel like sometimes the tension that people have in their eyes, even in tennis. You're like, 'Guys, I didn't do anything. Calm down.' You feel the aggressivity sometimes, which I was sincerely not feeling at the Olympics.
You go back to the Swiss house and all the other Swiss athletes, they are really 100% sincere that they are so happy for you that you got a medal, because they know how tough it is and how much you work all year long for that and how big it means to everyone.
It's the first time in my life I really felt like 100% of sincerety out of people or other athletes, who were like, 'Oh, wow. I saw that you won a medal. Oh, how amazing. Do you have it? Can I just see it?'
I think the world should be just like thus. Unluckily there are no Olympics every week. It wouldn't be that special, probably. But it made me realize all of these things.
All photos courtesy of Getty Images.