Saturday, August 16, 2008

Olympic venues

At the height of Olympics fever, I went through several key Olympic venues to get a behind the scenes look at the sports extravaganza. Needless to say, the infrastructure at the venues are excellent, like the massive Bird Nest National Stadium and the Water Cube
I first saw this structure as a hole in the ground 3 years ago and followed it's progress from half-completed to a completed but unfinished stadium. It was amazing to see the stadium filled to the rafters on Saturday with thousands of enthusiastic Chinese and international sports fans! That day was the start of track and field events. many heats like the women's 400m and qualifiers for women's pole vault was on-going. Outside the stadium, the huge square between the Birds Nest and Water Cube was full of curious wandering crowds taking in the sight on a wonderful blue sky day
The Water Cube was impressive, both inside and outside. we saw the emotional Brasilian Cesar Cielo who just won the 50m freestyle. my European friends pointed out Swedish King Gustav in the stands, he was just 2m away! later saw him up close in the Olympic family Lounge area.
wandering around, we saw swimmers training in the warming up pools and divers training in the gym. outside the Cube, we bumped into Zimbabwean swimmer, Kirsty Coventry who won the women's 200m backstroke gold earlier that morning. she graciously posed for photos with us!
Next we headed to the Indoor Stadium for gymnastics. the men's trampoline qualifiers were on. The Chinese duo was topping the tables, but the Japanese men, Germans and Russians were quite good as well. Here we spotted Bill Gates in the stands. I had spotted him at the Birds Nest Stadium just a short while before. should have asked him for some loose change, like a million or two, shucks!


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