Monday, August 25, 2008

Our fun as the games come to a close

The 17 days of the Olympics have ended. We watched the closing ceremony last night on China TV. Not once did we see a soul from the USA throughout the entire show. What's up with that?

Early in the day we went out of our apartment and down a small stretch of road -- about from 107 Pheasant to Joan Drive, -- and saw the men's marathon go past. There were a bunch in the pack when we saw the opening hour of the race -- and then when they went past us there were three in the lead by 2-minutes or so. The guy from Kenya won in the end. They got their medals in The Bird's Nest (stadium) and it seemed as if the guy that got 2nd, Morocco runner, was having a hard time lifting his leg to get onto the podium. Glass eyes too. They must have wanted a nap.

In the final day of competitions -- we were lucky to get into the final water polo session. We saw a preliminary game -- Spain and Croatia. Then the bronze game where Serbia beat Montenegro. Both were on the same squad a year ago. Then we saw USA vs. Hungary. Great first half. Then Hungary, winning its 3rd gold in a row, got more goals than the USA team. The fans and cheers from Hungary was wild to witness.

The skys have been blue -- but the smog is going to return, we expect. From our apartment we could see in the distance the fireworks in T-square. We biked there last week -- took about 1 hour or more. The flood lights from the Olympic Green are able to be seen from a hallway window. Our apartment is on the 13th (top) floor of a new building in a neighborhood in Beijing's Silicon Valley. A massive computer mart is 15 minutes away on bikes.

We took lots of photos and video. But, I've not uploaded them. Just waiting. NBC was cracking down on pirated videos. I don't need that hassle.

We all have bikes and are doing well on them. We expect to take a train to The Great Wall on Tuesday. Our flight to Chicago is Saturday.

We will pick up a few more treats -- but -- we spent a good deal on the final water polo tickets. Tickets were hard to get and scalpers were out of hand. But, we paid good / fair prices.

We have some new crafts... Got CD of music used in the games. "beijing welcomes you" is a song we've enjoyed.

Got to meet a number of Olympians. Many of their parents and siblings. Lots of fun people from many nations. The Hungarians were known for storming the doors to the water polo venue -- getting 7 or so tickets but seeing 50 or so get past the gate(s). They got wise to them by finals. Don't mess with China -- unless you are from Hungary.

Erik and I have been going to a 5-star hotel where we joined their health club for a month. We lift and swim. Catherine and Grant to a local university and park where there our outdoor badminton courts. We got more rackets (4) and a net. We're going there again tonight at 5 to play with local boy and his mom, our friends now.

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