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!