Beijing Olympics

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Our second Olympic experience: Beijing 2008

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We were fortunate to be able to watch Olympic rowing near our old home in Atlanta, 1996, so we were eager to also take part in the Olympics in our adopted home in 2008. We can't say enough about how wonderful this trip was. The facilities were first class, and thousands of volunteers, all over Beijing, were always nearby to answer questions and help us get to where we needed to be.

(Above) We spent three mornings watching events. To save money, we bought "first round" tickets. There were eight ping-pong games going at once in this beautiful new arena on the Peking University campus. One of the volunteers had decorated these ping-pong balls to match the five "Friendlies" (mascots). (Aren't they cute?!)

The right side shows a water polo game (we watched four, as I recall). We saw the US athletes lose in both table tennis and water polo, but the US polo team ended up with a silver medal. The inset photo shows the Chinese gal who eventually won the gold.


Here we pause to get a photo near the Bird's Nest, National Stadium. (This was as close as we were allowed to get, due to heavy security.) Michael's former student, Helen (far right), and her boyfriend Ivan took great care of us during our five days in the capital. We returned to Beijing (look at the bottom of the page) two years later for their wedding!

The only outdoor sport we watched was archery. Again, we had early round tickets, but the inset photo shows the Chinese gal who later won this gold medal.

The Great Wall is always an impressive sight. We didn't have any digital-camera photos of this landmark, so we joined the huge crowds at Ba-da-ling on our last morning in Beijing. Andrew and Ivan ran ahead and climbed through wall-to-wall people, while Michael bought us train tickets so we could get back to the airport in time (we took a bus out to the wall, because the train was sold out). By the time Vivian and Michael got to the wall's ticket booth, there was only ten minutes left before we needed to leave (so they didn't go up). But this photo (left) shows the big crowds under a beautiful Beijing sky. On the way back to the city, we snapped the other photo from the train. It looks great as wallpaper on our computer!

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