Highlights of the Opening Ceremonies:
- Wearing wool pants and a wool blazer with a long sleeve blouse and a scarf wrapped around my neck in 90 degree/high humidity/no breeze weather. BUT, we looked good! (Not a bit of my clothes were dry after six hours.)
- The lighting of the torch was AWESOME. I hope you have all watched it on TV by now....but this man ran/flew the torch around the rim of the stadium in order to light the cauldron. I filmed him doing it and it took over 8 minutes! That takes incredible skill and core strength to move like that, while being dangled in the air AND not have your face singed off by the flame in front of you! (I got chills-despite the sweating- and almost cried)
- We met and took pictures with the President of the US! He seemed to know a little bit about water polo! Even if his staff had just told him about us, I don't care.....he still made us feel special!
- I took a picture with Kobe Bryant. Later on the field, after we marched in, the whole team at one point surrounded him to keep the hundreds of eager fans at bay and give him a moment of reprieve from picture taking. I give him a lot of credit for being so gracious to every athlete that came up to him and asked for a photo. He was incredibly nice to everyone and even chatted it up with Brenda in Italian. It was awesome for us all to just be athletes together.
- Meeting Jason Kidd (a fellow Golden Bear) and talking to Coach K.
- We used an excellent exit strategy and made it onto the 3rd of about 100 or more buses leaving the stadium back to the village. (Basically we were like little duckings following our 6'8" bald assistant coach, as he weaved through the masses pouring out of the stadium, like he was playing Frogger.)We got home quickly and made our coach very happy.
- I got a picture of the countdown clock at exactly 20:08:08. I wish they didn't use military time. It would have looked cool. But it is still a moment frozen in time.
- We got mini-snickers in our snack bag as we entered the holding arena before the parade. It is the little pleasures. :)
I took a lot of video since this time I wanted another form of recording my memories. i think the sounds and moving images will be powerful to watch as the years go on. I have no idea why I never brought a video camera before. Maybe it is because they were so bulky. My Flip Cam is smaller than my normal camera! So after this is all over maybe I can post some video too!
Now that the Games are open it is time to focus on the competition at hand. Practice bright and early in the morning and again in the afternoon. Last opportunity to go over the plan for China on the 11th! Can't wait till the games start!