24 March 2012

Olympic fever!

In Olympic Park, Sydney
Growing up watching the Olympics on TV was a normal part of most people's lives, at least in my world. I remember being glued to the TV every two years to see this sporting extravaganza, eating up the amazing personalities from countries I knew little about. Coming from a big sporting family, we all came together to marvel at gymnasts, divers, skiers and the like.

Like most, I never thought I'd be able to ever attend an Olympic Games. It seemed like a faraway dream that would always remain just that, a dream. But to whet my appetite for all things Olympics, I visited as many host city venues as I could. In 2002, I drove through Lake Placid to see what remained from the 1980 Winter games and got goosebumps when I saw the ski jump and training center. In 2003, while living in South Korea, I spent a day at Olympic Park in Seoul which has a great museum and is a popular park for rollerblading and picnics. During a visit to Sydney in 2004, I went to the Olympic area which was much less a tourist attraction than a working sporting venue but was still amazing to be on site.

I used to live in Beijing, so when the city was awarded the 2008 Summer Olympics, I thought this was my chance. I knew the city well and had lots of friends left there so I figured I would have a place to stay and people who could help me get tickets. Long story short, my friend got two tickets to the women's gold medal tennis match so I headed to Beijing for three weeks of Olympic fun!

Olympic Park, Seoul
Some of my tennis memories from Beijing include watching Li Na play twice in front of her home country, Roger Federer winning the gold medal with Stan Wavrinka and Serena Williams losing to Elena Dementieva. I saw Dinara Safina's coach lose it against the Chinese crowd's treatment of Dinara in her semifinal against Li Na and waited out one rain delay after another.

With the London Olympics mere months away, I thought it would be fun to look back at my 2008 Beijing Olympics tennis journey, so stay tuned to a few posts and photos!

If you have any questions for me about my Beijing Olympic experience (regarding the tennis or overall experience) please ask and I'll include my responses in my next blog!

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