Sunday, August 3, 2008

Let the Games begin!

Austin's Update
JD, Hans and I arrived in China yesterday (Saturday night).

I am getting use to these long haul flights, and it's really getting easier to travel. I know the Beijing airport like I know Gulfport International. It's a piece of cake.

I had a really great flight, there were about 150 other US Olympic Athletes on the plane from SFO. The other athletes were part of the women's volleyball team (I am not a small person, but these gals were each around 6'7" tall and super fit athletes).

The mens wrestling team was also on the plane. Everybody needs to be on the lookout for my buddy Daniel Cormier he is a wrestler in the 211lb weight class. He's great guy and look for him to whip a few people in a few weeks. The badminton team was also on the plane - my buddy Howard thinks they might win a medal!

But the best part of the trip was at the baggage claim in Beijing when all 150 of us athletes were waiting to collect out bags.

Austin makes rookie Olympian mistake. When we went through team processing in San Jose last week we all got our opening ceremony outfits, all the Polo and Nike clothes this was all fantastic but we also ALL got the same two pieces of luggage. Smart guy that I am, I did not have a name tag on my bag, just the name tag from United Airlines. So, after looking at about 300 pieces of luggage I finally found all my stuff. Note to self next time I will put a neon green piece of duct tape or something to make my bag stand out from the crowd.

But something good came out of the the mistake, in the process of picking up every piece of Nike luggage, I saw some other athletes bags more specifically the USA cycling team!!! Woooo Hooooo I am a huge fan... I spoke with the personal trainer and mechanic (he informed me the guys are arriving later). But nonetheless, I will be able to meet some of my Tour de France Idols!!!!! I am so pumped, I cant wait!

Here in Qingdao life is AWESOME! We are now living in the Olympic Village. I am rooming with my coach Hans Wallen, he is a great guy, tons of fun. He makes me laugh non stop with his accent and best part os he doesn't snore... Life is great.

After the Games, the village will be turned into a five star Intercontinental Hotel, so as you can imagine its sweet!!! Were on the 15th floor over looking the boat park and the water. We can actually see the Class flag pole from our room and see when they raise and lower the postponement flag. Hansy has been joking that he doesn't need to leave the room when we race on course A, because with a good set of binos he can coach from his bed.

Today we woke up early around 630 am. Hansy and I headed to the gym here in the hotel, then onto breakfast and the boat park.

We unpacked yet another container and after a bit of boat work we were on the water around 1400. Today we trained with Robert Schidet, Hammish Pepper and Xavier Rohart. Everything is going as planned and we had a great session. Tomorrow more of the same.

Gotta run, our team leader Dean Brenner is about to give me a new hair cut. It's a bit warm here in China and I am going to run the shaved head look. I am trying to reduce the windage.... I already shaved my legs so now I need to make the top more aero.

I am trying to write update often to keep you all posted.