Monday, August 11, 2008

Austin's great adventure...

Austin w/ US softball player Jennie Finch

The guys w/Barbara Bush

Austin w/ Kobe

Austin w/ Frist Lady Larra Bush and Charlie Oglatree

By Austin Sperry - USA Star boat:

It's been an unbelievable few days in Beijing. First off, the opening ceremony was something I will take to the grave. This experience is something no one, not even the most gifted writer could explain properly. I will do my best to depict the experience but this will still not do the actual event justice. Here it goes.
JD and I arrived on Thursday, August 7th from Qingdao. Sally and her brothers and sisters also arrived the same day. That evening, JD had dinner with George H. W. Bush and Peter Ueberroth (head of the USOC). Really cool experience!! After he finished, we met at the MPC for a quick interview with the Today Show. I think many of you saw the clip seen (based on the amount of emails you have sent me saying how sexy I am on tv...).
I woke up bright and early on August 8th, the USOC sent a car to pick me up and took me to the Olympic Village. WOW! I have done many things in my life that warrant the word cool I am living the dream, but this was by far and away the coolest thing I have EVER done in my life.
I hooked up with my US Sailing Teammates and started walking around the village taking it all in, people watching, star gazing and just totally experiencing the village life! The first place I went was the dining hall. This place was HUGE! I think you could fit four football fields under this one roof. It had every kind of food you could imagine. It even had a McDonalds in there (I never ate there, but LeBron James, & Carmelo Anthony were eating a Big Mac after opening ceremonies)! My first star sighting was Amanda Beard (the swimmer, I got a quick picture with her!!).
Next, I bumped into Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks (he is playing for Germany here). I said hello and he couldn't have been nicer!! Then it hit me I saw my idol from the other side of the room I could pick him out of a crowd, I nearly dropped my food try... It was George Hincapie (cyclist on ALL of Lance Armstrongs winning Tour teams). I went up to him and introduced myself and just like ALL the magazines say he might of been the nicest guys I have ever met, he even sat down with me and chatted about the recent Tour de France he competed in two weeks ago and showed me his road rash from his 40 mph crash while going down the famed Aples de Huez... I ran into a few of my wrestling friends I had met in Chicago back in May and saw a few of my water polo buddies...
At 1645 I started getting dressed for the opening ceremony, 1700 downstairs to walk over to the USA Team building to meet and gather with all the other team USA members.
We were all driven over to the fencing hall where only the USA team was and lo and behold our President G.W Bush was there to give us a pep talk. The President was there with Laura and his father G.H.W. Bush (I met them all and even had my photo taken with them all - plus a picture with the President's daughter!).
After his speech we mingled with the other athletes and I met EVERYONE on the basketball team!! I got pictures with my favorite NBA super stars Kobe Bryant, LaBron James, D Wade, CP3 Carlos Boozer, Jason Kid, even Coach K posed for a quick snap shot with me!!! Read the rest here...