Bubba's Olympic experience: Arrival in China
July 31, 2008
It has been a long day. We left San Jose and headed to the airport in San Francisco to make our way over to Beijing. The airport was full of fans applauding and holding up signs, which made everyone on the team feel really good. Everyone got pretty excited when we were flying over Beijing. You could see the new airport from the plane and it was shaped like a dragon, so that was pretty neat.
We had a few minor hiccups going through customs, but that is to be expected. We are one of the first teams to arrive, so I'm sure they'll have everything worked out and it will be perfect. We had a police escort to the Olympic village and you could really see the difference a year makes. They had made so many improvements since I was here last year.
The Olympic village was immaculate with the gardens, flowers and trees. We are in a series of five-story buildings that are really nice. During the drive and when we got to the village, you could see it impact the athletes.
Everyone can rest easy because there is a McDonald's in the village. But seriously, the dining hall looked great. There are foods from all over the world, so the athletes should be fine from that standpoint.
The spirits are high right now. The athletes had a good shakeout when we got settled in. Most of them will be headed to Dalian, where we will have our training camp. I'm going to stay in Beijing until the 5th so I can check out some of the facilities and make sure everything is set up for the athletes that are going to come straight here and train.
As for me, I'm doing ok. I'm not really sure what day or time it is, but at these events, you just do the work and let everything come to you. I can already see that the athletes have a different hitch in their step and I think it is going to be a pretty special time for the United States.
We've got a meeting we have to go to. It's kind of an orientation to the Olympic village, so the athletes know where everything is and can take advantage of all the things they have here for them.
I'll check in soon.