Monday, August 18, 2008

Olympics LiveBlog: Day 2 (slightly delayed)


Day 2 begin on an inauspicious manner as I lost the keys to my cousin's condo somewhere between an ATM and a Starbucks - while this narrows it down to about 5,325,234 different locations in Beijing, it does not bode well for the prospects of recovering the keys. I obtained the emergency keys from my cousin's friend in Beijing, went to have lunch with two partners at my firm's Beijing office, and then proceeded to watch China's national sport (well, other than mass production of consumer goods) - ping pong. I sprinted about a mile through a downpour from the Stadium's entrance gate to the actual entrance, and about 10 yards in front of the actual stadium gate, a volunteer finally appeared offering a rain pancho!! But at least there was a free pancho. Soaking wet, I sat down to enjoy 8 simultaneous ping pong matches in team play. Where 3 of the 16 team participants were: China, Chinese Taipei, Chinese Hong Kong - hey at least the Chinese know where the strengths are! We stopped off for dinner with one of Steven's college friends, an ardent republican who saw my Obama 2008 shirt and proceeded to talk about John Edwards' affair for a big portion of the dinner - though it was an enjoyable dinner! The highlight of the evening, however, was attending the China-Japan and USA-Bulgaria men's volleyball matches in the evening. We brought along our giant American flag (a gift from the Dude Committee) for the occasion and soon found ourselves surrounded by 10,000 screaming Chinese fans who cheered every Chinese point and booed every Japanese serve (think Duke-UNC, and multiply it by a history of conquest, mass murder and a refusal to apologize). Soon after China bested Japan in a thrilling 5 set affair, 8,000 of the 10,000 fans headed for the exits - leaving a few stragglers trying to start half-hearted USA chants. We were, however, drowned out by a few VERY vocal Bulgarian fans - whose voice, fortunately, did not translate into a win for their team - and thus ended a very enjoyable day 2.

6 comments:

Bun 26 said...

I think you are very lucky to go to see the olympics and actally go to the birds nest.

Thanks

Bun 26

Bun 26 said...

I think you are very lucky to go to see the olympics and actally go to the birds nest.

Thanks

Bun 26

Head Dude said...

I guess we all agree with Bun 26. Bravo, dude! Fortunately for you, Yao got the edge on Dirk yesterday, and you'll get a quarterfinal treat in a few days. We'll look forward to more.

SportsGal said...

I hadn't checked the blog in a week or so... Dude, I'm SO jealous of your Olympic adventure. I've been up until 1 am every single night watching on TV. If you have any gymnastics questions, I'm your SportsGal...

The Franchise said...

Yeah, I didn't feel too bad about not being able to go to Beijing because I knew I couldn't go. But once the Olympics started and Vic started posting, I realized I too am immensely jealous.

The Franchise and siblings have always been big fans of the Games. True story: following the 1984 Olympics in L.A., my brother and I stashed change from our allowances in a coffee can that we labeled Seoul 1988 in the hopes that we could go see them in person. Alas, that change never turned into airfare to Korea, and neither of us has been to the Olympics to date. Maybe if Chicago wins the 2016 bid...

On the plus side, I've enjoyed a lot of late night coverage on TV thanks to being on vacation and becoming the point man for JT's late night feedings...

The Dude said...

SportsGal,

Is China's He KeXie 16?? Her passport says so, but my eyes don't buy it.

Long day tomorrow: 2 water polo quarterfinal matches, all 4 men's basketball quarterfinals.