Sunday, August 31, 2008

Then and Now

Barnens Gard is a fun place for the kids close to the inlaws. Here are some pictures from Saturday, the next to the last day of the year this year and of past years. You can choose who is who.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

谢谢和再見北京 - Hello Vancouver, eh?

Well, the Games of 2008 are over, depending on when you see this, and as the Sun Sets on Red China and as the flame is extinguished
Good Night from this blogger who is excited to get home to see his family in less than 24 hours after 3 weeks away.

The Games of Beijing brought a world to Beijing with a dream and many dreams came true.

See you in Vancouver in 18 months. These are the type of folks we will run into, eh?

Check This Out

Hey check out this cool photo from National Stadium. Click here on the link

Friday, August 22, 2008

Reflections As Beijing Comes to a Close

As I put this post together it is a reflective post both literally and in pictures. I took all of them but one as I saw many things around the Beijing Games. Some of these are the flame reflecting off buildings or buildings reflecting off buildings or buildings reflecting off water and the likes.

Beijing has been good to the people that came here to work. Some that I talked with were pleasantly surprised about the friendliness of the people and more. Many enjoyed seeing some of the world's landmarks and historical places. Athens and Beijing have been good for that type of stuff. They have been around for a long time.

Although there is some contention on the age of the Chinese Gymnastic Girls....all else has been run well. Yes, there is always lots of stuff going on behind the scenes to make things work well for all in the world to see. It has been good to work with the locals, as well as the United Nations {those of us that do this regularly from other lands} folks that are always around for the Games. We had good team work for the most part so that the world could see China.

It was sad that this huge Olympic Green is only open to ticket holders during the Games. There are so many yearning Chinese that have come to see this place and it you can only get into the Green with a ticket for an event in the Green.

The Chinese have made transport to and from the venues easier. We go from 'clean to clean' meaning that the doors on the bus do not open until we get at the venue and so we don't have to go through magandbag but once a day...on the way to the venue. We did magandbad once checking into the village. Obviously if we went out of the village to some non-venue place we had to do magandbag again.

All the buses during the Olympics must have that speed limiting thing installed since April when I was here last. No matter what road you are on, freeway or street, the driver can only go 40. None of them have tutted their horns well until yesterday. I got on a bus to go to Workers Stadium, closest stop to YaShow Market, and the lady bus driver tooted and gunned it and more. She was a normal Chinese driver in my book. All the other times I have visited here in the last 18 months drivers toot and make four lanes out of two. Not during the Olympics. The politeness has come into play.

The Chinese people were admonished on local TV to not spit and pee and such in the streets and they have done a good job. There are still little kids that squat and drop but that is because that is what they know. There are a lot less cars but that is because they went to odd and

Most of the Chinese are very friendly and try and talk English with you. They know more English than I do Chinese. On some of the rainy days I would go out and walk to the canteen and quack like a duck. I told the runners that I was 'Peking Duck.' A lot of them wanted to take pictures last night with Peking Duck. I was the Duck and they were the Rabbit.

Some of the crew got out to some of the streets outside the forbidden city and met a lot of locals. They were taken in and shown their 'hutons.' These people were very proud of what they live in, although in Western standards it is not much. There are a lot of people that have sacrificed a lot for the Games. Some of the local security and ushers and such all have lived in make shift housing here in the Green in cabins that have bunks and such in them. They are very proud of their land.

The runners and such working for BOB have done a great job and feel this is a good thing for them. They have made a good deal of money in their minds, which is very important to them, but they have also had a lot of fun. They have been hard at work. Yes I am sure we can all find things to complain about but those things also happen in everyday life.

There was lots of history made here in the Games from Swimming to Athletics to other sports. Most of the time it was fair play. It is sad when people, athletes or officials, try and change the outcome through other means.

I know if others spent like I spent we helped the Chinese GDP this month well maybe not the reported GDP since most transactions are cash based, but the inflow of money to the economy was up this month.

20 years ago now I was on my way home from Korea after the Games in Seoul. I was met at the Seattle Airport by my lovely cousin Jennifer. We had a good chat and said good bye.
That was a long time ago and many great things have happened since but as you have seen by some of the posts a lot of stay in touch and have reunions every two years. That is cool. Friends are made and kept.
In a couple of days, I get to fly home and be with my family. 19 years ago I married a friend and now she is my best friend. We have 5 wonderful children and have been able to see the world with work and have the family with me some of the time. They are strong. To let their pops go for a 3 week period here or there is hard, but they are the best kids in the world and I love them and my best friend.

Should the Games have been awarded to China? Yes. They have done a great job.

Where I have Hung my head the last 3 weeks

This is called the North Star Media village. It reminds me a lot of Seoul's Media Village. We have large complexes that have buttons in the elevators to take us to the 32 floor...but nothing is beyond the 25th. Strange.

We had people outside greeting us when we arrived and now they are helping us go...go...go

We had people outside greeting us when we arrived and now they are helping us go...go...go

I am living on the 17th floor in the ensuite that is all self contained. There are two other guys with me that have a common bathroom. It is good. Bed is firm and new and things work pretty well. I should say in the laundry down below there are leaks it is a bit wet when we do our laundry since I don't think the concrete settled or firmed up before the laundry opened and the washing machines pump out lots of water. Oh well.

Some Unattached Shots

Here are some pics from around the Games that I have not tied to any particular theme. Have fun looking at them.

The first is Jen trying to hide as she came back from Swimming one night. She is the BVM - Broadcast Venue Manager for Bob. She makes sure all runs smoothly amongst all the groups involved.This is some of the volunteers that make sure people do not come into our compound unless they belong. Sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't.

One of our local military cops.

National Indoor Stadium where gymnastics and Handball were held.

Picture inside BOB at the IBC. A flag flies over the desk of those people from the country they are from. Some cheap and easy colouring to the walls of the IBC.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

8 is the Lucky Number

So in China as you all know 8 is a lucky number. That is why the Olympics started on 8 8 08. It was 20 yearsago now that 88 of us got together in Korea for the Games of Seoul. Here are 7 of us in this photo and there are others at other venues that were altogether in Seoul of the Games of Korea. All of us were at T&F and Ceremonies. It has been 20 years since then. 1988...2008. NBC has done 8 Games including Seoul. In talking with all the guys, it was determined we have lost about 8 hearing aides, 8 pieces of hair, 8 baseball cards, and 8 pounds. Okay maybe the 8 pounds is not true....maybe it is gained 88 pounds but our total IQ is somewhere in the 8 digit realm. Don't know....but there are only 7 of us in the picture.

In the picture Left to Right is Tim, Gene, Phil, Andy, Bob, Myself and Nicker Bocker!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Omega Sponsorship

Yesterday there was a little get together of some Olympic Swimmers at the Omega House. They were there promoting the wonderful time keeper of the Olympics. There were 28 Gold Medals amongst the 5 of them on the stage. In the pictures we have Thorpe{do} from Oz, Natile Coughlin, Phelps, Katie Hoff and Alex Popov. They each did a slide show of their favourite photos they took during the Games. Phelps showed a couple of photogs taking pictures of him. They also showed their accomodations on Singapore airlines on the flight over. Popov showed himself with President Samaranch. Thorpe showed a picture of Dr. Kissinger, Jackie Chen and others at Peking Univerisity talking to students about what it takes to be winners.