Saturday, August 9, 2008

Opening Ceremonies Recap and much much more

So as I mentioned I would go into a little deeper depth (redundantly redundant) about the opening ceremonies from yesterday and I can tell you it was unlike anything I have ever seen. Take the best 4th of July fireworks display you have ever witnessed and times it by about 100 and do the same for the best choroegraphed show you have ever seen as well. Unfortunately I can't post any pictures of the actual ceremony as that is against the rules but I can say if you didn't see it on tv, make sure you check it out somehow.
Bird's Nest in all it's glory

It opened up with some amazing fireworks and light display on the stadium floor with hundreds of drummers, and that morphed into several elaborate acts. Some that were amazing was the display of the Olympic rings to the entire crowd as they were litup on a huge net type thing along with hundreds of dancers all being lit up as they wore suits with lights all over them and ran around in various directions. It is basically impossible to explain this event. The lighting of the torch, once we got everyone to the party was pretty sweet. Getting everyone there reminded me of the really long introductions of Wrestlemania. Especially say Wrestlemania 6 in Toronto where they had a real long aisle, it tooks guys forever to get to the ring.

Similar deal here but once the torch came out and they passed it around the field to the final man who would light the torch of all torches it was awesome. This guy climbs some stairs, gets hoisted to the top of the stadium, and then slowly jogs around the permiter of the top of the stadium, only being suspended by wires, until he gets to the torch. Just great stuff, and it was capped off by another display of fireworks that makes the show in Red Bank, NJ look like sombody lit one sparkler and called it a night.

Quick tangent on the bird's nest. This place was built without escalators (all stairs), potentially a stadium first, not sure that is the type of fun fact they were looking for. After I Rocky Balboa'd my way up to the third tier (upper deck in america) I was exhausted. At the top there was a quick summit of Americans, Dutch, and Russians who without saying a word all nodded and smiled that indeed those stairs were fun. Secondly at our seats inside the stadium it was hot, talk about 91,000 people working up a nice lather. After a while you stop saying to the person next you, "it's hot" and just enjoy the complimentary weight loss. Now a huge plus for this place, the snack stands. Talk about discount buys, I was able to purchase a bottle of water, a bottle of soda, and a candy bar for under three dollars. I think three dollars at a stadium today will get you a hot dog, from last season. So keep up the good work there birds nest, place looked great, some stairs, some AC and you'll be golden.
We're going to dinner next week, her treat!

On to the water both teams had practice, it is a big day for the men as tomorrow is go time, they take on China at 5pm local time. I am told this game will air at 10:15am pacific time/1:15pm eastern on Sunday morning on NBC. Make sure you check it out, if you want to be suprised don't visit here or the website as information will likely already be posted.

The men's team is ready to roll. I talked with two-time Olympian Layne Beaubien who said he seems to be more relaxed this time around after having experienced the Olympic Games in Athens. He mentioned that China is a strong team, and while they aren't the most experienced group they will fight it out the whole way and are getting better all the time. Visit for a more detailed preview of the game.

As for the women's team they were practicing right after the men and again were joined by Australia. Many of you know these two teams are no strangers to each other and again had another spirited scrimmage. If anyone is wondering why you would play against a rival prior to the Olympics, it is done for many reasons two being, they aren't in the same bracket, and they are good competition.

Well if the opening ceremony was enough of a thrill something else great came along today. As I was walking into the pool for women's practice at the door watching intently were Jason Kidd and Chris Paul from Team USA basketball. It is official the basketball team are fans of the water polo team, and of course vice versa. Kidd who went to water polo heavy California mentioned how he trained with the team once back in his undergrad days and it was brutal.
I chatted up the two on the game and how things work, of course many parts very similar to hoops. They hung for about twenty minutes and were on their way, I think we might see more of them as time goes on. Anyway two very nice guys and real down to earth. It's funny being from New Jersey everytime I see Kidd I always think of the former public address announcer who used to scream his name as all one word, JASONKIDD!!!. Well that is it for now, more tomorrow, especially on the outcome of day one for the men's team.


Michael said...

J-Kidd...that's awesome. Was TJ with him?

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