The weather today was amazing - bright blue skies and a ton of sunshine, I was so surprised to see this much blue sky I had to go out and do a pano of it... http://www.mercurynewsphoto.com/2008/08/bluesky.mov
Today was actually a slow day - I only worked a 1/2 a day - that'd be 9 hours. Got up and headed to Women's basketball because Ann's doing a column on two of the players on the New Zealand team that are from Stanford. I thought the game was at 9:30... so I left my room at 8:00 thinking that would be plenty of time. Well unfortunately I missed the 8:30 bus at the MPC so I had to wait until the 9:00 am bus left, so we got there just after 9:30... that's when I found out the game actually started at 9... but it wasn't a big deal cause I just had to photograph those two players.
So here's a good barometer on how the crowds are here, the New Zealand versus Czech Republic (as well as several other Women's bball games) were sold out and the arena was, for the most part, filled to capacity!!! Let's face it, Women's basketball in the U.S. isn't the most popular sport (I enjoy covering Women's college bball) but to have an arena that was filled with fans chanting and cheering for 3-pointers or a good lay-up in the fourth quarter of a 31 point blow-out (Czech Republic won) was pretty impressive. My first assignment in Athens for KRT (knight ridder tribune, sniff) was Women's basketball - the arena there was probably less than 1/2 the size and maybe 1/4 full - and that's being a bit generous.
Afterwards there was actually nothing to do because they were doing some advances for track - obviously couldn't shoot that, and a recap of some other stuff. So I headed over to shoot the semi finals of fencing - the team epee finals. It was pretty interesting, the lighting is pretty wacky, they shut all the lights off except for the ones on the stage. That lasted about an hour - after that is when I headed out to do the pano of the blue sky.
I actually did need to head back here to do laundry - I'm past the 1/2 way point in my trip - and I think tomorrow is the 1/2 point in the games - I brought enough clothing so that I'd only have to do laundry once - I realized this morning that today was my last day of clean unmentionables!
So I was chatting with a volunteer and he was telling me that they make him "volunteer" from 6 to 8! Maybe he meant 8-6, that seems more reasonable to me... Each bus driver has a volunteer who rides on the bus and helps out passengers and never gets to see any of the games. There are like a gillion buses around here. Can someone tell me how many volunteers they have? I bet the number is pretty amazing - like 5,000-6,000, probably more. I'd guess that the best place to volunteer would be at the venues that you'd get to sneak a peak at what is going on. I'm hoping some of these people are getting paid, like the janitors or food prep people - the ones that have the really bad jobs.