MONDAY - AUGUST 11, 2008
I hope you are all doing well. Everything here is great. The weather held up again a little over cast and scattered showers but it was again a cooler day; still humid but tolerable.
The sky has been grey but the rain actually cleaned the air a bit. When I woke up today I could actually see the mountains to the north of the city. Remember Beijing sits in a basin so this is also the reason everything gets trapped. Also, a lot of the pollution/dust in the air comes from dust from winds blowing in from the northwest. I do not see much effect with people around the village. Most people are exercising and working out outside. At the village, there is an outdoor running path through part of the village and it is full. Some leisure runners like me and some runners in training. But I have not seen anyone outside with masks on. I think the air has been pretty favorable. Like I said the other day China has put in something like 16 Billion Dollars into cleaning up the pollution. One thing worth mentioning though is that you hardly ever see a bird. I do not know if that is from the air pollution or not?
The food at the village is good. Like I said before the cafeteria is open 24/7. The building where we eat seats 5000 people. They have all kinds of choices from fruits, vegetables, cheeses, nuts, different breads, probably 15 different entrees, it is impressive. At BNU (Beijing Normal University) the home of The USOC's High Performance Center (Olympic Training Center Overseas) the food is fabulous! They feed all coaches, training partners and Olympic Athletes if they desire to stay and hangout after a training session. To my understanding, the USOC has hired chefs out of NY along with their staff to feed the American team. It is top notch from food to service, to presentation.
It is a normal site to sit in the cafeteria at BNU listening to athletes from all sports congregate and cheer on American team members. The atmosphere in the cafeteria is great. They have about six or so TV’s on the walls. It is a fun atmosphere. Everywhere you look you see athletes surrounding a TV interested in what is going on.
The City of Beijing and The County of The Peoples Republic of China has let everything out for this event. Everywhere you turn there are Olympic Banners lining streets, railings, hanging on buildings, billboards; you name it they have one on it. Also they have really greened the place up: flower beds, flower pots, trees and shrubs everywhere. They have a lot of green. The country’s PRIDE is everywhere; flags on a lot of cars and bikes.
Today, I found out some interesting facts about The Peoples Republic of China.
1- China spent 300 Million Dollars on Opening Ceremonies. Just as a reference Athens spent 36 Million on Opening Ceremonies in 2004.
2- China has 100 Million more Men than Women coming into their 20's.
Many men that will not find a female counterpart in China.
3- China has a policy of 1 child for each couple unless you get an exemption from the government. If you do not get an exemption and have more than one Child you can have everything taken away from you.
4- Also, in China, you can have only one dog and it can only be 16 inches high or less unless you have an exemption
5- China has a population of 1.4 Billion People. In the next ten years they have a plan to move 300 Million people from rural China (poverty) to the urban areas. That is about 1/5 of their population and that is like moving every single person in the USA.
Let's talk about our athletes a little bit. We had a good workout today. We left for BNU at about 9:30 am from the village. At BNU, we went through a short intense workout with the girls for about an hour. Then they had some time to do more cardio or sauna if they wanted to. After Lunch, they had massages scheduled with the USOC Sports Medicine Staff. We met back up again at about 4:30 to play a game for about 1 hour - just a way to get a little running and agility in but stay light and keep smiles on their faces - a little way to hide the work.
Coach Izzy arrived tonight from the states. He has been with the Jr World Team in Turkey at the Jr World Championships - where they finished 3rd as a team and had 1 Champion in Adaline Grey and 2 more medalists. Congrats to all of the team members and all of the coaches.
The thing that we all need to understand is that to build an Olympic / World Champion it takes a community of coaches, athletes and support staff. Everyone is in on it. We are going to be the best women's wrestling country in the world because we are all working towards the same goal TOGETHER!
Tomorrow - we will again have a morning workout with the team - after that we start to do our own thing to rest, relax and make weight. Tomorrow the Greco Roman Competition Starts and Spencer Mango will lead TEAM USA out of the blocks. Good Luck to Coach Fraser and the Team!
Over and Out!
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