Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Sunday Gymnastics

The Beijing National Indoor Stadium was the scene of day one for women's gymnastics. Though my seat for the big event -- opening competition for the women's teams from USA, Japan, U.K. and Italy -- was for the 300s section, I never made it that far up in the arena.

After helping a fellow American with a photo request (they forgot their cameras, so I snapped a shot to later e-mail), I followed my new acquaintances into the 100s seating (the helpful and plentiful volunteers never did ask my exact seat number). This entry point combined with my assigned Olympic credential later opened doors to the media photo pit for the event (overlooking the balance beam and vault, just a few yards away).

The USA women did not disappoint. All the team seemed to be trying their best (it was slightly challenging to keep up with the scores and rotations). Italy had the best floor exercise tunes (Madame Butterfly, ohh, la, la). After the second rotation, and feeling like there was nothing to lose, I moved to another corner of the arena and sat on the front row overlooking balance beam -- sweet seats!

Turns out more than two things come from Okahoma ...

To my left, a fellow Oklahoman: Mr. 1984 Gold Medalist Bart Conner!
Behind Bart: His wife, Nadia Comaneci, trying her best to keep track of their very young son!

Though gymnastics' golden couple did not respond to requests for a blog interview, at the conclusion of the fourth and final rotation, most of the building was cleared. I lingered for a bit and discovered the photo pit again, this time transformed into the post-event media Q&A area, sans security!

I did not want to push my luck any further on the access coup, so did not attempt any interviews with team USA. But there was no problem snapping a photo or 10. The day was off to an awesome start, and it wasn't yet noon!


Carol M said...

Put up a few of your pix when you have time! Not sure if you saw Harvey's email but he is in town this week and perhaps organizing another ACOG reunion. Jill and I may go if something comes together. Hope you are having a blast.

Jason said...

Wait a minute. What are the first 2 things that come from OK?

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