Thursday, August 21, 2008

We Got Hope. We were there! Workers' Stadium, Beijing: USA women win gold in "football"

Are you ready for some great football news?

The USA women's football team -- in western PA its called soccer -- beat Brazil in the gold medal game at The Workers Stadium here in Beijing. And we were there and have lost our voices to prove it.

The day was filled with rain, breaks in rain and tears of joy for a few different teams around town.

We were hoping for gold in the softball -- but Japan beat the USA team, 3-1. Last night we saw Japan tag Australia for the bronze medal game. The victor, Japan, got to play the favorite, USA, for the gold. Oh well.

The other big game on the schedule today was in women's water polo. USA played The Netherlands. The Dutch won by one point.

Today's early hours were filled with heavy rain. Without tickets to the open water swim, and with the rain -- we blew it off. We had the alarm set for 5:45 AM. Got up then and checked the puddles and punted. Back to bed. We knew we'd be up late for the soccer game later.

Very little was on the television too.

We got a swim in ourselves (Erik and I). And we watched the women's volleyball team beat Cuba. We also saw the USA women win the beach volleyball. The women's hard-court spikers advance to the gold medal game against Brazil.

Grant and Catherine played some park badminton and we at the last of the leftover Pekin Duck for lunch.

Then the boys and I headed out on the bikes to the double-header football games. It was a 90-minute bike ride. We locked up the bikes on the street between the Worker's Stadium and Worker's Gymnasium. These facilities look to be a bit older, but nice. I'm not even sure what is played at the Worker's Gymnasium. But there was a lot of activity on the streets around the venues.

The first game of soccer tonight was for the bronze medal and it featured Japan vs. Germany. To the end of the game, Germany scored twice. Then there was a 1-hour break and the gold medal game at 9 pm.

The game was hard. Great for the USA -- our goalkeeper, Hope Solo. She was not going to let anything past here.

The game ended in a tie -- 0-0. Then the game has two 15 minute periods. The USA squad scored in the first session and turned back a number of good opportunities including plenty of corner kicks.

The audience was mostly locals -- some from each of the four teams. But there were 51,000 in the stadium -- with few empty seats. Some, but not many.

Outside, tickets were being sold at face value and below. That's a good sign for going to the men's gold medal game or perhaps to soccer.

We got our helmets off the bikes and headed to McDonals. It was packed and we didn't get anything. Ran to the subway at 12:30 pm and was told this would be the last train. We needed three to get home and were worried about a transfer and getting stuck without the bikes. It took two cab rides to get home.

In the AM, we'll need to get back to pick up our bikes.

Good night.

No comments: