August 11, 2008

The simple fact that I'm typing this up at 1:00 pm Carthage time means you're looking at another stream-of-conscious recap of the day. WHy? Because if it's 1:00 pm there, its 2:00 am here. It was a huge day and tomorrow's even bigger:

  • This morning's final session - the 400 Free Relay. How big was the US upset of France? Well, let me have Susan Woessner, one of my former swimmers and currently a spotter for NBC heard from her boss, the director of NBC's coverage, and director of twelve Superbowl's: “It was the best sporting event I have ever seen.” What they're talking about is Jason Lezak's running down of the 100-free World Record Holder to grab the win and WR by 0.08. Previous world record: 3:12. Now: 3:09 Amazing.
  • This afternoon we traded the pool for the court to see women's volleyball. The first match was USA vs. Cuba, and it's been a tough week for the USA volleyballers. The father of the team captain was murdered near the Forbidden City so they've been emotionally spent. Today they were physically spent by some amazing kills by the Cubans. We really weren't much of a match and went down in three straight sets.
  • Game #2 was awesome. Russia vs. Brazil. Though the scores wouldn't show it (25-14, 25-14, 25-15) the level of play was much higher. What made it even better though was the fact that we were sandwiched between two sections of Brazillians and next to a bunch of Russians. They kept up a banter all game long.
  • In some ways it was a lot more fun watching a game today just because of the crowd factor. All game long you're sitting there riveted by the play. Contrast that with the swimming tonight where just six Americans had swims across the three events.
  • The arena for volleyball, like most venues here, takes up a very small footprint. This place held about 10,000 fans, and was no bigger than a large academic building.
  • Back to the pool in the afternoon. This time our tickets were split, so I sat up above the overhead camera (no joke). If I have tickets up there again this week I'm bringing a sherpa with me.
  • Once I did climb up to row 547, I had the good fortune to sit next to the parents of Suzanne van Biljon. She set the World Championship record in the 100 breaststroke and has aims of an Olympic medal, but this morning she had not one, not two, but THREE technical suits tear on her leaving her nothing but a practice suit for this morning's preliminaries. It also left her without much pull as it took so much effort to pull those things on. Arena and the vanBiljon family are not on very good terms right now, but hey she qualified 5th, so not bad.
  • More firsthand Olympic experiences: Before tonight's prelims we saw Dara Torres and part of her entorage. She has a staff of some half-dozen or more working with her. They're not on the US staff so they were working on her up in an all access area. Henry asked for and got an autograph. I told him he should ask for something more, but no report back there. After prelims I introduced Henry, Erin and Nathaniel to Mark Gangloff who finished 8th in the 100 breast this morning. He was 7th in Athens, but nearly a 1/2 second faster this time around. Like most events, the field was incredibly deep (oh, and again, I picked the winning time - just happened to pick the wrong guy).
  • After the swims, we wandered around the Olympic park for awhile and what did we happen across but the Today show? So like tourists we stood behind them and waved our arms wildly when the cameras went on. If you've got this morning's Today show Tivo'd, we're there, you can see us.
  • Last stop today was a nightclub with some friends of the Chapman's. No report on how that went because its time for bed. Tomorrow we've got the finals of the 200 Free, 100 Backs, 100 Breast. Then FINALLY we're off to that big wall.



Total Pageviews

Powered by Blogger.

Blog Archive

Copyright © Red Tide Report | Powered by Blogger
Design by SimpleWpThemes | Blogger Theme by Lasantha - |