Upcoming events –

Napa-Sonoma Half Marathon, July 20, 2014
Noble Canyon 50km Trail, September 20, 2014

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Opening Ceremonies!

August 14-- Opening Ceremonies

I'm back from an exhilarating and exhausting Opening Ceremonies celebration. It was everything I had hoped and more with lots of fireworks, big entrances, and best of all, tons of friends with whom to share the experience.

I was able to walk in with my kayak and Olympic Training Center friends. Kathy Colin, who also competed in Sydney, was right next to me as we marched in to thunderous applause from the packed stadium. Nate Johnson, a canoer who missed out on the Sydney Games, was there, along with the rest of the OTC paddlers. I lost track of John Nunn, but when I found him on the infield, he was still glowing. Because the Greek alphabet is different than ours, the USA didn't come in right at the end with the 'U's as usual. We came in near the middle of the pack and were able to watch as tons of other countries came in after us.

The highlights were marching into the Athens Olympic Stadium for the first time with flashbulbs blinking and thousands of people cheering; waving like a little kid at a parade; feeling so very small amid the crush of humanity and yet feeling so proud of the work it took to get me here; meeting famous people like Tim Duncan and Martina Navratilova and meeting not-so-famous people who are just as nice and fun and friendly as your neighbors; seeing racewalking friends from Ecuador and Columbia; marching back out of the stadium with athletes from Sudan, Iraq, Mongolia, Russia, Italy, and laughing and talking as we waited for the busses; getting back to the Olympic Village and finding that at 1:30 in the morning the cafeteria was packed with people who were ready to dance and sing and stay up even later. I am so glad that I am here. I feel so blessed to be a part of these beautiful Games, this beautiful sport, this beautiful world. It must be getting late because I'm starting to get horribly sentimental. :) Look for me on the TV tonight. I'll be the guy dressed, as my Ecuadorian friend said, "like a baby rap musician in pajamas and a floppy hat."


No comments: