Today was a good day. I ran my last workout (more like a tune-up than a workout). I did 3x1000m in 3:23, 3:19, and 3:20. I felt a little stiff, which is perhaps not surprising after a day off. After the workout I went to the gymnastics venue and saw the US women lose to the Chinese women. The event was pretty fun to watch-the Chinese audience went CRAZY. I will try to post some short videos though I have not had much luck with posting those…
After I had lunch I was determined to go to the road cycling time trial to show support for one of the Slovak riders. Also, the race took place close by the infamous Great Wall so I was eager to get out of now a muggy, smoggy Beijing again and check out the Great Wall area. However, I missed the morning shuttle due to gymnastics so I hoped on a cab-a big mistake-it took two hours instead of one to get there. But in the end it was worth it. I saw about one third of the riders finish the race and then I sneaked in for the medal ceremony, catching some glorious glimpses of the top three. I yelled out “Awesome job Levi” for Naomi and Don and he yelled back “Thank you Butte, especially the Kronenberg Ranch!”. OK, not quite, but he smiled big. In fact, they were all so happy…. It just makes you know that they are clean. Then again…
Here is a few pics from the day. Most are self-explanatory. The one with all the kids was kind of interesting. All these boys and girls were just hanging out, supervised by their strict looking teachers cheering like they had been paid for it when the riders went by. I guess they were allowed to miss a day of school provided they would cheer. Hang on, there is no school in August…. The whole situation reminded my of the communist charade (the marches, etc). when I was little... But the kids were worth it! One boy was really cute in particular- your typical class clown- the only kid brave enough to try to use his English on me. This was our exchange:
The Chinese boy (CB): Hello
ZT: Hi-how are you?
ZT: Very fine or only a little bit fine? (smile)
CB: Very, very fine. Where are you from? (kids start gathering looking curious and excited)
ZT: Slovakia and you?
ZT: (Looking really surprised): no way! (All kids laugh. I give the boy a Slovak Olympic pin- it pains me for a second to not use it for trading, but then I see a smile on the boy’s face bigger than any pin in the world. I think to myself: "That was one pin well spent!"
The one picture with the soldier was taken on the course-I got to chat with them a bit through the interpreter. He wanted to take one with me using his camera so I thought I should take one too…
Tomorrow is going to be more quiet day as I am going to start focusing on getting ready for the race-probably no more major distractions from now on. I think I will watch events on TV and try to stay off my feet.