8/25/2008

Slowly back to earth... but not without a bang

This morning bright and early at 7 am Beijing time we had to say good bye to the Olympic Village. We got up around 6:45 to hand in our keys, then headed out to eat our last meal in the dining hall. 8:30 we finally were on the way to catch our all Netherlands team flight, filled with all the athletes, coaches and a couple media members. A better than normal flight meal, and I passed out for about 4 hours... which was much needed.

We landed in Amsterdam around 3:30 local time, and had a big league welcome, walking down stairs off the plane, straight onto the tarmac, and onto our busses bound for the Olympic team welcoming. About 1 hour later we arrived at the stadium, and enjoyed a very very warm welcome by thousands of Dutch fans.

Now, I'm back home again in Rotterdam for the first time in about a month, and I can't wait to shower and head to bed, so you'd better appreciate me posting this!! I'm just kiding, but here check out some pics from today...



The last picture I took in the village. Bright and early this morning (now almost 24 hours ago, which means I've been semi-up for almost 24 hours.....). The Dutch team all checked out and prepping to catch busses to the airport about 30 minutes down the road, a lot quicker since we can take the olympics lane through traffic hour though



Flying into Holland off the European west coast...



The medal winners needed to exit the plane first to get on a different bus, so I popped this shot of 2 of the main players from the women's water polo tea, the blonde one being the best goalie in the world. Then and their gold medals. I have one of me holding a gold medal, I'll post that in the next couple days with the Heineken house post



A picture of the nice welcome we received at Schiphol airport in Amsterdam. I was just heading down the stairs to a huge KLM and airport staff welcoming us, putting us straight on the Busses. We didn't have to go through any security checks, or passport crap for the first time in my life



The Dutch team exiting the KLM flight we took.



Our escort from the airport on the about 20 minute drive to the reception, we had 2 apache helicopters, about 8 police, and closed roads. At several points large groups groups of people were waving at the 8 busses in a row and 5 trucks filled with our suitcases



The Fans off the left side of the walkway... tons of low fives required here



Myself and tiny walking down the fittingly orange walkway into the Amsterdam areana where the 1928 Olympics where held. We were greeted by about 6-8 thousand fans family and media in an event that was way bigger then I thought it would be



The medal winners from the dutch team were specially honored after all us 'non-medal winner' olympians were done walking through. They all completely deserve their medals, and some even more then what they got. I am very proud to know, and work out at the gym with some of these people. The Netherlands finished 12th in medals with 16 which is pretty good for a country of 17 million, compared to China's 100 medals having 1 billion people. Quick side note, Canada had 3 golds, and Netherlands... 7



My cousins Jess and Dan. They are awesome, and were kind enough to drop me off on the way to the Olympics, and pick me up upon return. My wife Jeana would have had some part in the pick up and drop off, but she is at home in the USA for 2 more days, and left 2 days before I departed for Korea. They are aparently checking out one of the medal winner to the left. Thanks again you two!!!



Finally everyone gets to see their families in the special zone that was only for permitted family (Jess and Dan had passes). It was pretty neat to see all the Olympians back and reconnecting with their loved ones, from significant others, to parents to children to dogs even. This didn't last long, most of the athletes were pretty tired from the almost 10 hour flight, we just wanted to get our suitcases and go home

1 comment:

one very proud MOM said...

It looks like an amazing reception in Holland, I got choked just looking at it!
A very wonderful close to such an amazing event and experience for this blogger ... you rock!