Last day in Beijing

Saturday, August 23, 2008 10:24 PM

Dear Friends and Family!

Well, I have woken up to my last day here in Beijing! The Olympics themselves are ending this evening with the closing ceremony starting around 8pm. I will definitely be participating in the closing, so keep watch for me! I have heard that normally the marching in of the athletes for the closing ceremony is much more chaotic than for the opening, but we will see! It should be a great celebration either way.

The past few days have flown by. I've been to the Great Wall, to the summer palace, to the Olympic Stadium to watch athletics, to the table tennis stadium, to the Summer Palace, etc... On top of that, I have been training lightly and trying to get enough sleep as well! I don't want to fly back to Canada and feel like I need another two weeks off before getting back into things.

Though I have so many great memories from the last few days, I think my highlight was watching athletics at the Bird's Nest stadium. It was incredbile. I missed the opening ceremony, and so wasn't really prepared for how big the stadium really is. From the outside, it didn't appear that large. Even when I was walking to find my seat, I didn't grasp it's size. After about 5min after I was seated, did the size finally hit me! There are three major tiers of seats that wrap around the entire stadium. I was sitting in the lowest, about 8 seats up from the track, which gave us some very close up views of the athletes competing. Looking around and seeing the thousands and thousands of people (in fact, about 90,000 people) all cheering for their local athletes, was undescribable. This, by far, is the largest venue I have ever been in. I am really, really looking forward to the show that they put on at the closing ceremony!

My day today will be pretty light. I will wander around and take pictures of the village itself, eat a few meals, and probably work out. My energies as a real tourist have expired. I am saturated with impressions of this very cool city. On the one hand, I would love to have another two weeks to spread out my sightseeing, and on the other, I am ready to get back to my training in Ottawa!

Again, watch out for the badminton players on tv!



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