August 17, 2008

Well, the final day has come and gone, and within the 1/2 hour Mr. Leou will come to take me off to the airport. Last night, as I was sitting in the Bird's Nest, the enormity of the trip (and the exhaustion) set in. Ten days, six sports, a thousand pictures, dozens of friends, there's just so many ways to count things, but no way to really encapsulate everything.

Yesterday, we all watched Mr. Phelps make history. He was presented with a special medal, and the last words I heard the meet announcer Duncan Sherard (AUS) say as I left the pool, "Ladies and Gentlement, Michael Phelps, the Greatest Champion in Olympic History..."

In the evening I returned to the green to watch track & field (or 'Athletics' as is known worldwide.) I was right on the equivalent of the endzone, right in front of the hammer throw and right in front of the starting blocks for the 400m hurdles. No question, the T&F athletes are far more expressive and emotional after their races/ throws. The winner of the hammer throw, jumped up into the stands near me, then took a lap around the track ignoring the poor little volunteers trying to usher him to wherever he was supposed to go. Like swimming though, there was little apparent animosity though, every champion would seek out his rivals and lift their hand or their flag as they made their way around the venue.

One quick thought: the seats in the nest were each set on their own pedestal. It was like sitting on mushrooms.

After 'Athletics' I met up with Nichole Ellis, the women's assistant at Northwestern and a longtime friend. We ventured down to the Hi Ho area to sit in couches, relax and share stories. Ironically she, her sister, and friend were staying just one building away so it was easy to catch a ride home.

There's more to tell, but not more energy to tell the story. I've taken nearly 1,000 photos and will post the best to the gallery here in about 24 hours.

Zai jian from Beijing!




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