Monday, August 25, 2008


(please see below for behind the scenes pics)

The Olympics are a frantic frenzy of buses, walking, cameras, lenses, photographs, sweat, bumping & shoving, running, jubilation, action and then all of the sudden it comes to a screeching stop. I think I might have POD - Post-Olympics Disorder, not sure what to do with myself.

The last thing my best friend from high school Eric Fowles said to me via email was "rock china" - well I tried my hardest and China certainly rocked me but it's been a great experience. It's certainly not an original analogy, but the Olympics is definitely like a marathon. Okay, so I've never run a marathon, but I know someone who did (Jessica) and it's one of those things that might not be fun all the time but the greatest reward is making it to the finish line in one piece. Had lots of fun shooting the events, the hard work was the logistical stuff.

I definitely have mixed emotions about these Olympics. Wonderful experience and so thankful I was able to come here. The sad thing is looking ahead to London's Olympics - unless there is a cataclysmic change in newspapers and the economy I can really only see a handful - like 5-10 newspapers in the US sending people to London. Will newspapers even be around in four years. New York Times, Dallas Morning News, LA Times, Chicago Tribune, USA Today will send people, beyond those papers everyone else is highly in doubt.

The cool thing is that Athens and Beijing are the two Olympics I wanted to go to, Athens for the historical nature and China for the, well historical nature - but in much different terms.

I just wanted to say some Thank You's to several people, I'm not using last names in case those people don't want to be found:
First a huge thank you to Rachel W - our bureau chief - if it wasn't for her MediaNews proposal to have a bureau at the Olympics I would not have been there (neither would a lot of the other people). Second thank you to my boss Geri M. for having faith in me and asking me to go a couple of years ago (I guess I didn't f-up the first one too badly). Third another big thank you to Elly O., Josie L., and my bro Nol for watching my boy (cat) Whitie while I was gone and giving him lots of needed attention. Thanks to all the picture editor's and designers who used my images, Michael Malone, Jami S., Josie, Ashley, et al. Thanks to columnists Ann Killion and Mark Purdy and reporter-extradinaire Elliott Almond. Thank you to my Mom and stepdad David for their endless support and love. Thanks to my friends for their support and emails. I'm excited to play in the San Francisco Press Photographers Association Golf Tourny with Pat and Sean. A big thanks to our telecommuncations guru Linda K. for setting me up in the 11th hour with the near-life saving blackberry so that I could keep in constant touch with reality via email and internet. And thank you to Brad Mangin for posting parts of these on Sportsshooter.

There are a ton of people who did Olympic blogs and I look forward to finding them and reading them... some people that I know have blogs out there about the Olympics (just google them): Rod Mar, Chris Detrick, Vincent La Foret, Sol Neelman, Kevin German, Zach Honig, David Burnett, Dan Powers and others...

It was really great making some new friends out there Robert Gauthier, Michael Goulding, Mark Reis, Chris Detrick, Helen Richardson, Erich Schlegel and others, and seeing old friends like David Eulitt, Paul Kitakagi, Eric Seals, Michael Macor, Sean Haffey, Wally Skalij, Smiley Pool, Scott Strazannte, Rod Mar... Met a bunch of people briefly whom I didn't get a chance to talk with too much but seemed really cool, John Biever, Kevin German, David McIntyre, Jeff Shaw (I think?), Kirby Yao, Edward Ornelas... Barely ever saw some of my other friends, Jed Jacobsohn, Lucy Nicholson, Robert Hanashiro, John Mabanglo, Harry Walker, George Bridges, Vincent La Foret, etc... Awesome to work along side (or in the same venue with so many great photographers)... the SI dudes Robert Beck, Bill Frakes, John Biever, Al Tielemans, Bob Rosato (there were a couple more whom I haven't met before)... If I forgot anyone don't be offended :)

For all you gear-heads this is what I brought with me. And I will not be the first to proclaim this, but the Nikon 200-400 f4 is the perfect lens for covering the Olympics. That lens was awesome! I used it all but two days and those two days I wished I had had it. Most of the time when we are covering events we can move around. The files are so nice that ISO is irrelevant, I often shot at 2500 an the files looked sweet and tack sharp with that 200-400. Love that lens! During the Olympics most of the time you pick a spot and that's where you sat for the duration. The 200-400 f4 gave me latitude to get images I would have been unable to get with a fixed 400 or a fixed 300.

On a daily basis I rolled the Thinktankphoto airport international 2.0 which I could fit two bodies and five lenses in, including my lovely 200-400 and I carried my laptop in a Pacsafe backpack.

3 - Canon Mark III's
2 - Nikon D3's
1- Casio Exlim camera
1- Canon G9
1- Canon SD790 (point and shoot)

Canon lenses:
1 - 400mm f2.8
2 - 70-200mm f2.8
2 - 16-35mm f2.8
1 - 24-70mm f2.8
1 - 24mm tilt shift lens
2 - 1.4x converters
1 - 2x converter

Nikon lenses:
1 - 200-400mm f4 (awesome lens)
1 - 70-200mm f2.8
1 - 24-70mm f2.8
1 - 14-24mm f2.8
1 - 16mm f2.8 fisheye (yes Mom and David the same lens from college!!!) - used it to make the panoramas

Other gear:
1- Powerbook G4
2 - small harddrives
2 - Canon 580 strobes
1- floor plate
1- magic arm
1- ball head
3 - pocket wizards
* - a bunch of other misc stuff like monopods, clothes, energy bars, etc.

And all that stuff fit into:
1 - Thinktankphoto International Airport bag (carry-on)
1 - Pelican case
1 - Lowe pro case
1 - Samsonite hardcase
1 - Pacsafe backpack

It was kinda crazy - I have five DSLR (digital cameras) with me, two of them, Nikon D3's, I'd only used a couple of times before I left. I also brought a Casio that I'd only used once. A Canon sd790 which I hadn't used before at all. I ended up using the Nikon's the majority of the time mostly due to the 200-400 f4.

What didn't I bring over that I thought I was going to?
-Canon 300 f2.8 - no need to with the Nikon 200-400
-Canon 100-400 - see above, plus the Canon lens is no where near as sharp as the 200-400
-Sony video camera - i have the G9 that does video

Behind the Scenes

Pics from behind the scenes... captions below the images

(me, Michael Goulding (OC Register), and Robert Gauthier (LA Times) hump it to the water polo gold match)
(Wally Skalij, LA Times, in the moat)
(my opening ceremony ticket)
(Volunteers hold umbrellas so we can get on the bus during a rain storm!!!)
(Wally asked this volunteer to sing a song - so she did!)
(me in the Nest)
(the coolest media workroom you'll ever see)
(Paul Kitagaki, Sac Bee at work in the Nest)
(Michael Macor, SF Chron on the bus from water polo)
(Wally Skalij, La Times, in the moat)
(Erich Schlegel, Dallas Morning News in the moat)
(our bureau, surprisingly without people)
(bus anarchy)
(cafeteria - McD's is on the far left)
(Goulding, Kitagaki, Reis in the Cube)
(A full bus from? basketball maybe)

Saturday, August 23, 2008


2:57 am - back in room ready to sleep for a long time... Eric Seals bought me dinner (thanks dude). I think Schlegal bought my beer I thanks dude!

1:15 am - drinking Weihenstephaner at the swanky mpc bar - how did I not know about this place before... It was right above our heads!

12:30 am - just finished transmitting... Might go grab a beer, still need to edit some audio...

10:32 pm - whoa wait, is it over? Back at MPC - still gotta scan in volleyball, water polo and closing ceremonies... Already transmitted the marathon - that was on deadline...

7:35 pm - sheesh it's packed here and a 1000 degrees - I'm sitting in front of a stobe light that is blowing hot air on me... I hope closing ceremony isn't as long as opening.
(Updated via blackberry)
(The very long and steep stair case up the nest to our shooting spot for closing)

7:20 pm - @ birds nest - had to walk no buses - got cheeseburger on way out
(Updated via blackberry)
(Me, Kitagaki and Goulding walking to the Birds Nest)

5:05 pm - they are playing MC Hammer, can't touch this. the US lost 14-10, oh well. Shooting local dude with medal - wish it didn't take so long for medal ceremony... hungry. Gotta eat and then run to closing ceremony... Then gotta scan all this stuff in!
(Updated via bb)

3:35 pm - oh yeah this is my last athletic event for the Olympics!
(Updated via blackberry)

3:30 pm - just had an apple, feel better - walked out to pool and they are announcing players now... Can't believe timing worked out this well. Hungary has won 8 golds in water polo - USA has won 0... Go USA! Goulding met a family of Gouldings on the way in...
(Goulding meets a Goulding)

2:40 pm - Men's vball final was freaking amazing!!! Thank god they won that last set. Gauthier, Goulding and I in cab on the way to water polo... We should make it with plenty of time - phew, was stressing on that. Haven't had time to eat any thing yet, hungry - but going to shoot the Hungary vs. USA water polo.
(Updated via blackberry)
(Goulding and Gauthier give directions to the cab driver)

1:38 pm - at men's vball usa up 2-1 hope they win this next set cause I gotta leave soon for water polo
(Updated via blackberry)

11:18 am - Gauthier just blew our minds and used the word "cogitate" in a sentence! Reis and I are amazed and impressed he threw it out on the last day. Reis jokingly said "isn't that what you do on your wedding night?". Ha
(updated via blackerry)

10:48 am - Can't believe it's the last day, on a pretty full bus to men's volleyball final, US vs. Brazil riding with with Robert Gauthier and Mark Reis (Colorado Springs Gazette). Bed at 3:30 up at 7 to shoot marathon finish at birds nest. Kenyan won - US 9 and 10, I think.
(Sent from blackberry)

7 am - wake up to cover men's marathon (finishline)


Slept in again - but didn't go to bed until 4 again - got up around 10 - headed off to the Men's football finals between Argentina and Nigeria. I was pulling for the Nigerians since Argenita won last year (right?). It was a really boring game, at least compared to the women's game the other night. I guess it's because thy control the ball really well so there isn't as much contact as there is for the women. But contact is what makes the for good pictures, or else you just have a dude dribbling the ball all alone... snoozer. I sat next to Tom Fox (Dallas Morning News) the second half and it was freaking hot.

I went staright to the water cube to catch the synchro team final. USA was first and I was hoping to get to photograph from the underwater windw - but it was already booked up.

Smily Pool, Houston Chronicle, is pretty insane, he wanted to break the record for the amount of assignments one can cover in one day - he held the previous record at 5... today he shattered that record and put that number to a staggering 7! Obviously he is not staying for a whole event, but still...

Headed back to the MPC and grabbed a lunch of spaghetti and pizza with? damn, if I forgot who it was it must me Detrick again - haha

Headed to the Women's volleyball final between USA and Brazil. Ran into Paul Kitagaki there - I think this may have been the first time since last week!

The amazing thing is that Brazil had not lost a set, yes a SET, in all of their Olympic games! USA played valiently and even won one set quite handily, a moral victory I guess, they nearly won the fourth set - but unfortunately Brazil finished them off. But USA still got the silver so that's cool?


Well I think I'm starting to run out of any intersesting stories because my brain is becoming as tired as my body. My mind is a bit mushy right now and remembering details is becoming more difficult - like with whom I had lunch with is getting lost...

So I sort of got to sleep-in today - didn't get up until 10:30 - but I went to bed around 4:30-5:00, saw a little early morning light starting to appear. Ran into Rod Mar (The Seattle Times) as we were getting on the bus to the MPC - we happened to be going to the same place - Men's Volleyball at the Capital Gymnasium. It's about a 35 minute bus ride from the MPC. I headed straight to the bus MB10, I think, when we got the MPC while Rod went over to grab some coffee. He was nice enough to pick up a banana and some almond cookies for me.

It was cool to catch-up with Rod, I'd seen him here-and-there but hadn't had a chance to chat with him, he didn't much of a choice since we sat next to each other.

The volleyball game was pretty exciting. I was disappointed yet again on the merchandising at volleyball they had no volley-ball specific merchandise - how idiotic is that? Sorry Jessica, I wandered all over the venue. Just like freaking the swimming venue didn't have any swimming pins! Sorry Caroline!

After volleyball I headed back to the MPC. Had lunch with Tom Fox, Carlos Gonzales (Minneapolis Star Tribune) and ??? - crap I'm totally spacing out who the other person was - the sad thing is that I actually walked into the cafeteria with that person and happened to run into Tom and Carlos! That's really terrible.

ok, I'm in the workroom at the media village sitting next to Chris Detrick and after several minutes of asking what day was what we figured out that it was he who was the mystery lunch guest.

Well after lunch I headed over to the Yingdong Natatorium where they play water polo, I ran into Michael Goulding (Orange County Register) there. The Men were playing Serbia in the semi-finals. They had lost to Serbia 4-2 and no one really thought they had much of a chance. Supposedly no one outside of Europe has ever won the gold in water polo!

So it was very surprising that they destroyed Serbia 10-5. I shot next to Scot Strazzante (Chicago Tribune) down on the water for the first two quarters and then photographed from a little balcony area for the last two quarters.

Michael was going to head out after water polo but I mentioned that as soon as water polo was over I was planning on heading to track so that I could catch the Men's 4x100m relay - mainly because Ann was writing something about Usain Bolt - the Jamaican guy who had already won two gold medals and set two world records. We jumped on the bus to the MPC and then from the MPC we jumped on the National Staidum bus. It's about a 15 minutes walk versus a 10 minute bus ride, might as well relax a bit and take the 10 minute bus ride.

Got there about 30 minutes beforehand... so it worked out okay...

Several photographers have been attacked by the Beijing bug, with fever like symptoms. Luckily I have avoided that bug pretty well... especialliy considering that I'm pretty beat down. Don't ask me what it is or how one gets it but it's out there.

Friday, August 22, 2008


"Unforgettable memories" this is the reason why a college majoring in communications decided to volunteer for the Olympics. I was chatting with him at the Women's gold medal soccer game. I did find out that they are not required to work 14 hours (like one volunteer told me) but 8 hours a day for 20 days. But it's certainly possible that some volunteers work longer than others.

The soccer game was pretty sweet - they went scoreless into overtime and our goalie Han Solo - oops - Hope Solo - made a ton of sweet saves. To a Star Wars fan would Hope Solo be Han Solo's great, great, great x10 grandma? There is quite a big back-story revolving around her and the world cup, but I'm not getting into that.

Reverse - taht otni gnitteg ton m'I tub htrof os dna... today was another monster day - my longest so far. Got up at 7 a.m. to shoot the beach volleyball gold medal match and my head hit the pillow around 4:30ish a.m. Today it felt like I hit the wall at 7, I did not want to get up... and looking out my 12th story window at the other media towers and seeing rain pouring down really didn't help my cause.

I have never been as soaking wet as I have been at beach volleyball. My ThinkTankPhoto Hydrophobia did keep my camera's nice and dry but I got soaked despite wearing a waterproof jacket. It was raining so hard that it just went right down my neck and soaked the front of my shirt and eventually my pants.

Robert Beck (SI) had the brilliant idea of wearing swim trunks to the match. I, on the other end of the spectrum of brilliance, decided to wear pants! duh... so if you want to feel what it was like today, put your clothes on, get into the shower and turn the water on and sit there for 45 minutes and watch beach volleyball on tv (please don't bring the tv IN to the shower with you though). The match was a good one and it was also nice and quick - like I said about 45 minutes. The game jube was ok but the medal ceremony (which can be not so good) had some nice emotion since this might be Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor's last Olympics.

The match started at 11:00 am - but our picture editor Jami back in the States was nice enough to get the normal 12:00 pm (9 p.m. in California) deadline pushed back to 12:40 (or 9:40 p.m.) - because it was raining there was no way for me to bring my computer out and transmit. The medal ceremony ended about 12:15 which gave me 25 minutes to run back to the press room and scan and transmit - I raced through 24 images by about 12:45 - which was 9:45 p.m. back in California.

Being the good mother that our columnist Ann is, after I walked into our office in the MPC she instructed me to go back to my room and change - or I'd get sick. I'm really glad I did - I had actually walked out to the buses and then turned around. So after talking with her I walked back to the buses again, luckily I had about 3 hours before I had to head to the Women's water polo match. I even caught a 15 minute nap.

I would have stayed for the medal ceremony at water polo but since they lost and got the silver I decided to book it out of there and catch as much of the gold medal soccer game as I could. I had to go back to the MPC and then catch bus MB13 to the Beijing Workers Stadium. I had thought about grabbing a taxi but it would have been hard to describe where I needed to go - to the media entrance.

I walked on the field about 10 minutes into the game, didn't miss much. I am still amazed the US won because the Brazilians just dominated them the first half. The game was scoreless in regulation. With about 5-10 minutes left in regulation a bunch of the so-cal shooters who were at the softball game (which they lost - and won silver) - sauntered in. "What did I miss," they asked me... I said to them, you bastards, you haven't missed anything! There was a brief time-out before overtime started - which consists of two 15 minute halves - no sudden death. USA's Carli Lloyd broke the tie about 5 minutes into the first overtime and they just had to hold on and have Solo use the force to stop a couple more goals.

A cool, quick factoid, the Women's gold medal was the 1,000th gold medal in US history in the Olympic Games.

Oddly enough the Brazilian players only list one name the roster - not sure if it's their first or last - but one of the players name is Marta - which reminded me of one of the best television shows of all time - Arrested Development - I should have had her autograph my Bluth Company tee-shirt.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


David pointed out that I had the unmitigated gall to spell "unmitigated gaul" incorrectly... ugh


Hi Mom - sorry I haven't called - I meant to but things have been so crazy lately... will call soon!

So I feel like I need to get one of those pollution masks - but it's not for the pollution because the air quality is actually pretty decent right now. It's for all the stinky body odor. I was at synchronized swimming and I was sitting in-between two foreign photographers and one had just rankous BO and the other smelled like rotting roast beef. Yes - super gross. Needless to say I felt a bit nauseous and left as soon as I could. And just to clarify I'm not singling out anyone I know because I don't know anyone that stinky.

Before synchro Mark Purdy and I went to Beijing Normal University to photograph a Make a Wish Foundation kid visiting the USA volleyball team. Well we couldn't photograph the actual practice because it was a closed practice but I was able to get a tiny bit of something afterwards as they were leaving. Practice would have been cool cause apparently he helped the players by setting the ball and doing other things. Oh well. He seemed like a cool kid, I think 16, had some good quotes for a 16 year old - he was voted class vice president and his mom was all proud and he said something like "come-on mom no one was going to vote against me, I have cancer!"

On the way over we were talking about covering the Olympics - this is his 10th! I think this is also the 10th for Robert Hanashiro - I'm sure there are others that have covered the same or more. But that is crazy. They were doing them back when the summer and winter Olympics were the same year - remember that - that must have been just totally brutal to cover summer and then several months later winter!

Afterwards I headed over to synchronized swimming. How can you think of synchronized swimming and not think of the Saturday Night Live skit with Martin Short and Harry Shearer? If you haven't seen it you must. Today was the duet and since there is a Japanese team competing about 75% of the photographers were Japanese. I only saw a couple US photographers and maybe 5ish Russian photographers... the favorite to win - and they did. We had two locals in the duet and they placed fifth. They performed, basically, right in the middle of the same pool that Phelps dominated.

I kinda had a little break in-between synchro and track, mainly tried to catch up on some computer related stuff and chatted with some people in the office like Chris Detrick and Helen Richardson.

Unfortunately there are a lot of events early and a lot of events really late. Beach volleyball and bmx (among many others) often start at 9 - which means a 7 a.m. wake up call. Because each are about 30-45 minute bus rides from the MPC and before that you have to tack on about a 20 minute ride from the North Star media village - with an extra 5 minutes to get that bus via cart! Everything has run so smoothly that those times are pretty consistent. Tracks big races, like the 100m and the 200m (tonight's) start around 10:30 p.m. Indoor volleyball and basketball have games that start at 10 p.m. So that can make for a very long day.

Tomorrow is going to be one of those really long days, beach volleyball, water polo and then soccer - all Women. For some odd reason they put 5 Women's finals on Thursday and some of them even overlap making it impossible to cover all them... well that's annoying. There is bmx, beach volleyball, water polo, soccer and softball - there are also finals for Men and/or Women Track and Field, taekwondo, modern pentathlon, wrestling, equestrian, diving, sailing and swimming (the marathon)... sheesh!


RED ALERT RED ALERT - among the many misspellings or bad grammar in the past, I had the unmitigated gaul to misspell Kris Deetracks name. It's actually spelled Chris Detrick (k not h) and he's from the Salt Lake Tribune. Sorry dude! So Detrick and I are two of three photographers here representing our respective newspapers and our parent company MediaNews. Helen Richardson is the third photographer from the Denver Post. We're all basically chasing our local athletes and sometimes we run into each other at the same events. Though most of the time were not at the same events. There are a total (I think) of 20 of us here - 3 photographers and the rest are reporters or columnists and our bureau chief Rachel. The Mercury News has two columnists (Mark and Ann) and one reporter (Elliott).

Couldn't believe I was still in China in August - the cart dudes were wearing jackets! And the dude last night was saying "so cold" in English.

Um, I thought now that swimming was over that getting 3-4 hours of sleep was also over with - damn I was wrong on that one - went to bed at 3:30 last night after getting back from the Women's soccer game against Japan and got up at 7 a.m. to make it to the 9 a.m. beach volleyball match. It seemed a little bit early to have music blasting and girls in bikinis prancing around and I'm not talking about the athletes, during the time-outs girls in bikinis come out and dance around. But I survived. David Eulitt said I had to mention that.

Had lunch with David Eulitt at the MPC again and had pizza which is a pretty safe dish. That and their meat on a stick - grilled - I had the chicken, but beef and lame is also available.

Afterwards I headed over to Women's water polo, i'd shot water polo a couple of times already because we have several locals on the team and their superstar Brenda Villa is local - went to Stanford. There hadn't been too many photographers but today there were about three times as many. But that was cool. The US won, so that was good - they advance to the gold medal round on Thursday. But they are guaranteed at least a silver. For some dumb reason they put a bunch of Women's team medal events on the same day and even overlap the times. So Women's beach volleyball, softball, Women's water polo and Women's soccer are all on the same day (Thursday two days from today). Why is that?

After water polo I headed to gymnastics where they had the parallel bars, balance beam and high bar, in that order, going for the apparatus finals. it was a lot busier than i thought it was going to be. So since I didn't need to shoot it I decided to shoot up in the photo positions in the stands to keep out of the way.

Rachel then instructed me head back to the media village and grab some shut-eye :) so I did.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


I totally got seven wonderful hours of sleep (which is what I normally get back home) - it was really great - Today is the first post-Phelps (swim) day... In Athens I didn't cover any swimming (except synchro)... so I never realized how crazy the first week could be. I thought the second week was the tough one - but really the first week is the tough one because EVERYONE wants to cover swimming - now there are so many different sports everyone can focus-on that the pack will be thinned out throughout all of the events. The Men's 100m is also done, so every event will get a little bit busier (photographer-wise) but there really is no ONE event left where everyone needs to be. Well except for basketball for US media. I decided to head over to softball around 11 - it's about 45 minutes away to photograph the US versus China. Rode the bus over with Sol Neelman, chatted most of the way.

We have four players on that team that are local. Though I was talking with the reporter from the Denver Post about that several days ago - Benjamin something-or-other - it's funny how papers consider some people "local." For instance - how long does an athlete have to live in an area to be considered local? A year? Two years? Are they "local" if they only lived a couple of years there when they were a little? If they went to college there?

There were a bunch of US photographers at the Fengtai Sports Center Softball Field. As I was shooting USA's Tairia Flowers at-bat from the field level photo spot, she sent a foul ball right at us (see below). I was standing in-between John Biever and Michael Goulding (hey just like yesterday! weird) luckily I had both eyes open because out of the corner of my left eye (I shoot with my right) I see a foul ball coming right at my head. Luckily I have cat like reflexes (ok, like an old cat not a spry one) and the "soft"ball went flying over my head and hit Michael Goulding's lens hood on his 70-200 that was dangling off his shoulder by his waist, he kinda leaned into but luckily it didn't hit anything too precious - because it was about the height that could have made his voice a couple of octaves higher.

The US scored 9 runs in the first inning - we were wondering when that wonderful mercy rule was going to go into effect - they didn't score any more runs but the game was called in the fifth inning! So I packed up and headed back to the MPC to then head to the Olympic Sports Center Stadium - a wacky looking building in a complex that houses water polo and handball.

Handball is way cool. I don't know why it's not more popular - it only lasts about an hour and 15 minutes, it's high scoring and there is a lot of diving and throwing. It was a lot of fun to shoot. As I was sitting there getting ready for the China versus Croatia game Smiley Pool (Houston Chronicle) and Erich Schlegel sauntered in. It's always nice to see a familiar/friendly face. Handball is pretty much exactly like water polo - well obviously not exactly - but water polo with out the water, well it's not polo - you get my drift.

If yesterday was the Paul Kitagaki Day today was the David Eulitt Celebration as we did all three of the same events - though he arrived a bit late at handball... we had a wonderful lunch at McDonalds, mmm double cheeseburger. And then headed off to the Beijing Workers Stadium. The BWS just happens to be about two or three blocks away from the hotel I stayed at when I came out here a year ago to do pre-Olympic stories. It's the Comfort Inn but it's only the top three or four floors of the 16ish story building. The rest is misc. offices, restaurants and a Hyundai dealership in the lobby.

I met a new friend at soccer tonight. Not sure if my new friend is a boy or a girl but it was very nice and kept me company throughout the first half. Didn't have a whole lot to say but he/she was a good listener. The Japanese photographic contingent outnumbered the US photographers probably 3 to 1. Maybe nothing else was going on for Japan but does a country as small as Japan really have that many newspapers/magazines?

Timed the bus great - as soon as the game was over packed up and grabbed the bus which left about five minutes after I got on it - excellent. Rode in the back of the bus with Robert Gauthier and heard about some crazy Iraq stories from when he was there before and after the invasion. Really puts things into perspective... and from the immortal words of David St. Hubbins (This is Spinal Tap - best movie ever made) - say in a thick English accent: "too much f*cking perspective."

Then caught the bus from the MPC to the Northstar Media Village and ran into Robert Hanashiro (USA Today) and we talked about Saving Private Ryan cause it was on the other night and how his dad was somewhere there on D-Day, pretty amazing...