Saturday, August 9, 2008

While We Wait

At home in the U.S. I know that NBC provided great coverage of the Opening Ceremonies and is giving fantastic coverage to the events.

Here we see things but hear them in Chinese. There is no way around that except the Internet which is not practical. Most Americans viewed the Opening Ceremonies from China TV. (It was mostly visual so OK.)

There were some who went to the opening. The cost was anywhere from $1,500 to $5,000 USD. We did not go and would not have at that price even if we could have gotten tickets. To go you were rich or were given tickets as part of a courtesy for coaches, major sponsors, etc.

It is 95 to 98 degrees even at night and the humidity makes it "feel like" more. And, the crowds surround the venues. But, once you get inside it is well worth it.


On Saturday night we went to a huge new air conditioned gymnasium that was the site for the volleyball events. We watched China put away Venezuela rather quickly. Then came the the United States of America vs. Japan. It was really cool to have the announcer say "United States of America" and not U.S. or just United States. It ups the pride level a bit to hear it like that in front of this truly international crowd.

All the seats were good but ours were up high. Next to us was the Japanese assistant coach to the U. S. Women's Volleyball Team. So, I figured the seats weren't that bad.

So, Ken, spoke English with a heavy Japanese accent. On his lap was a clip board full of court play sheets. He was a spy!!!! He was in the stands studying the strategy of the Chinese who had played in the previous games. During time-out we had a chance to talk with him and learn things about our players. It was cool.

So, Ken hopes to be an American citizen someday. Right now he has a green card. And right now, he is part of a large number of foreign nationals that coach teams outside of their home countries.

As for Saturday night....Ken was a Japanese citizen rooting for the Women's U. S. Team in the games against Japan! We won it in five very close and exciting games. We loved it! Fight the heat and the crowds and go in for a great time. That is the way you do it.

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