Wow, what a few days it’s been! I am finally here in the village. YAY! The last several days have been filled with all kinds of adventures. On Sunday night we had a send off gala that was quite fancy. We started the evening with a diving show. It was a little strange because we were marched out in front of the crowd, and in many ways it felt like a meet, but with no warm up time, and lots of down time in between march out and when we did our dives. Afterwards, we got showered and all dressed up (the event was casual elegant). The highlight of the evening was receiving a new camera as a gift from Kaiser Permanente. I love it and have been using it a lot in the last few days!
On Monday morning we had a media training and then left for San Jose State. This is where Team Processing is held. We got there Monday evening and got settled. The next day we got to train at Stanford for a few hours in the morning before all of the afternoon activities. We started about 1:30, and I was busy until about 11. There were a bunch of different stations for us to go through; some were: picture taking, ring sizing (and possible upgrading), the option to buy an Olympic leather jacket, a Chicago 2012 promotion station. By far the most exciting, though, was where we got our outfitting!! We had to wait a long time because there was a limited amount of space and lots of people. We each got a shopping cart, and then proceeded to go around to different stations where we could try on all of our apparel. There was so much great stuff by Nike and Ralph Lauren, the USOC Olympic apparel sponsors for this year. It was so fun to get so much awesome USA gear.
After this, we got alterations made on our Opening Ceremonies outfits (which look really good). Then we had a team picture in our Nike track jackets and a Team Briefing where we got some info on what to expect in Beijing and in the village. Now it was time to pack and get ready to go! We were able to ship a box of items home that we wouldn’t need in Beijing. It took awhile, but I finally got all squared away and ready to go. We left bright and early the next morning for the airport.
After a long flight (which was considerably easier since I didn’t have a domestic layover before the SF to Beijing flight), we finally arrived! It was such a great feeling to touch down in Beijing. When I went through customs, my customs officer called someone else over, handed my passport to them, and told me to follow them. Talk about a little disconcerting! This happened to quite a few people. The problem stemmed from a difference in the names on our credential (which also serves as our Visa) and our passport. Everything finally got figured out and we went downstairs to catch a bus to the village.
I was really surprised how beautiful the drive was. Everything was very clean and the landscaping was really well done. This is my 5th time to China, and one of things I usually notice immediately is the laundry hanging from the windows in all of the apartment buildings. Not this time! I didn’t see one piece of clothing hanging up to dry. It really made an impression on me because it is so different from the China I have seen before.
We made it to the village, and got our room assignments. I am rooming with Laura, my teammate from home. We are sharing a suite with Judo one floor above the rest of the divers. I’ve just met the girls once this morning, but they seem really nice.
After we set our stuff down, we went down to the dining hall. The food is really good—there are lots of different kinds to chose from, and even a McDonald's!
Yesterday morning was our first trip to the pool. Before we got in the water, we took a bunch of pictures. I even climbed up to 10M and took some from there. The pool looks great.
There are alot more pictures here: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2278507&l=d8a5f&id=14804993