What amazing experience this has all been so far. The Olympic opening ceremonies were last night, and what a show they were. Unfortunately we (the athletes) didn't get a chance to see the artistic part of the ceremonies, we were put up in the gymnastics arena to wait for our call to make the about 1 km trek over to the Olympic stadium, the 'Bird's Nest'.
All the athletes were kind of a buzz during the day, and we even had a pretty bad practice overall, I think because we were a bit excited, strange but true. Either way, we shook off yesterday's practice to a 1-1 tie against team Canada in a 7 inning time limit game.
My wife told me I walked across the TV screen when she was watching on NBC in Oklahoma, about 3 seconds of strutting. Most likely me waving away, and probably taking another shaky video on my camera. I got a few good shots, and memories, check them out below with little write ups above
1. My roommate Tiny and I in our Olympic suits. Very nice, tight, and later on we found out it wasn't sweat proof...
2. Dutch team photo shoot. About 325 athletes, coaches and trainers.
3. Loek Van Mil and I right after the Dutch team photo shoot, damn he's tall
4. The outside of the Olympic pool, the outside also changed colours quite often
5. The gymnastics stadium, where all the countries were stationed before making their way next door to the Bird's Nest. Nice place, can hold over 30,000 apparently
6. Bird's nest from outisde, and the line of countries waiting to be called
7. Our flag, along with the ccountries in front of us in line to enter the stadium
8. Rob Cordemans (4th Olympics) and Michiel Van Kampen (1st Olympics)right before we entered the stadium. Do you like the dramitic effect the camera decided to use?
9. Walking in as a team
10. Dirk Van't Klooster in his 3rd Olympics
11. Getting some waving in, to the 90,000 people in the Bird's Nest...
12. Dirk took a picture of me doing the walk and wave thing
13. Jeroen Slujter and Martijn Meeuwis, a couple of my Neptunus (club team in Holland) teammates walking and enjoying the ceremony
14. Self shot picture walking in the stadium…
15. These poor fella’s had to jump and clap the whole entire time the athletes were introduced, they were soaked, I was expecting to see one of them pass out from heat stroke or dehydration, but they were troopers. About 2-3 hours of it…
16. Our suits were ridiculous. Every single one of our guys ended up looking like this. Mine was worse by the end of the night, it was so hot, Humid, and being in a stadium with 90,000 spectators and 40,000 people on the field doesn’t help
17. Roger Federrer bearing the flag for the Swiss
18. Dirk Novitski (sp?), another NBA star carrying the flag for his country, Germany
19. Yao Ming, all 7’6” of him carrying the flag for the Chinese team (the biggest team there I think)…
20. 3rd base coach Fox, taking lots of video, we all did, I’ll try to post some of those, but I’m afraid the weak internet connection here won’t let me do that, we’ll see
21. Not sure what country they were from, but they were awesome little people, and were so happy to take a picture with Loek. The guy came over first to take a pic with him, and had to jump to put the hat on Loek’s head, and then the other little lady came over for this picture
22. Olympic flag, and not a natural breeze, I would have liked to be standing next to that wind machine
23. The famous Chinese gymnast who ran around the top ring of the stadium wall on the way to light the flame, it was an amazing part of the show
24. In my opinion, my best picture of the night
25. Me in front of the flame, lit about 30 seconds earlier…