Saturday, August 23, 2008

Olympics at the National Stadium, A.K.A. The Birds Nest

Friday August 22, 2008
The events scheduled for the day were the final for the men's 50KM walk, prelims for the men's decathlon discus, pole vault, 110 meter hurdles. The events kicked off at 7:30 AM but we didn't arrive at the stadium until 9 AM. Getting all of us out of the house that early would have been impossible. The grounds of the Olympic complex are beautiful. As we approached the stadium we could see the walkers on the track outside the stadium. The morning weather was perfect and the skies were very clear with great air quality.

The Bird's Nest is very impressive in person and is very big. You really have to see it in person to appreciate the size. You can see in these up close shots just how grand this structure is.

We entered the stadium and caught the last heat on the hurdles.

You can see there is a Chinese athlete in the first lane and he won the race. The crowd roared inside the stadium. It was so loud.
Next up was the discus throw where the American guy threw a Olympic record 53 meters. We were very proud of him for that and we were happy to cheer him on. On the discus throw they had a remote control car to return the discus back to the next thrower. It was pretty cool.

They had a break in the action after the discus as we waited for the walkers to finish their race. The Fuwa came out for a visit and Olivia was happy to see them. This is Beibei:

Here are of a couple of pictures of us.

We watched the walkers on the screens as they made their way into the stadium to finish the race. An Italian named Alex Schwazer was ahead of the pack and set to break the Olympic record. Here he is entering the stadium.

It was really cool to watch him break the Olympic record finishing the race in 3:37:09 way ahead of the Aussie silver medal winner who finished over 2 minutes later.
Olivia was an attraction at this venue too. It's really beginning to be quite funny as we can't go anywhere with her without being paparazzied. Everyone here wants a picture of her or wants to hold her or just be near her to adore her. It's quite a site that you have to experience to really appreciate.

Jenny coming to the rescue.

The last event of the day was pole vault. This went on for a long time as each guy gets 3 tries to make it over the top. Each guy who does moves on to the next level until only 1 guys remains. Here are some action shots.

We ended the day with a walk around the Olympic Green to see the sights. It was quite spectacular to see this place in person.
Here is a panorama of the inside of the Bird's Nest

Outside the Bird's Nest

The top of the Ling Long Pagoda.

The Today show set.

Sandy with her new friends.

Sandy with the Bird's nest in the background.

The Water Cube

Another of the Water Cube, The National Indoor Stadium is to the right and in the back ground you can see the Media Tower.
I had to include this picture because I thought it was cool. You've seen Olivia in our back pack in many of the pictures. This is the Chinese version.

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