We had a great day of practice, enjoyed another day on the field. After practice I had a satellite media tour for Bank of America. It was at the Hometown Hopefuls Family Center, B of A puts on for the family and friends of Olympians during the games. Its absolutely beautiful, right on the water! My family is going to love it and be there a bunch. Its awesome, food, Internet, TVs, and so much more. Its so nice to have a place for our family and friends while we focus on competing! In 04' my family practically lived there! They really enjoyed meeting the other athletes families and relaxing in between events and games. After, back to the village and I hit the bed!
Today is the big day!!!
The day we have been waiting for!!!!!
Let the games begin!
We had the morning off so Cat and I headed over to gym here in the village and got a work out in. We relaxed and enjoyed the morning off. I went to the salon here in the village and was able to get an out of this world foot massage. It was the best! Intense! She dug right in, I was cringing but enjoying it at the same time! I finished it off with a pedicure, really just a nail painting but it worked. I went with USA Red! I will definitely be back for another foot massage!
Tonight is the night! OPENING CEREMONIES!!!
I was a bit giddy all day thinking about the night. We showered up and got ready for our big night. It was kind of like prom night a bit! But way better!!! We all got dressed in our RL get up! Silk scarf and all, we looked great! It was so fun. We lined up outside our apt all of the US delegation. Snapping shots and sharing in on the excitement. We headed out on the buses and on our way.
We first staged at the Fencing venue where all of the US athletes hung out. President Bush and the First Lady along with former President Bush came to welcome us and wish us well. He let us know how proud he was of us and wished us well and lots of Gold! We all got team shots with him, quite cool. We were able to grab some photos of other Team USA athletes, a few being, Lindsey Davenport (it was fun talking about motherhood with her), Misty May and Kerri Walsh, Men's & Women's Basketball, the Baseball team, shooting, water polo and many many more... quite exciting.
After our photo opt we headed over to the gymnastics venue to stage with all of the other countries. Everyone looked so great all decked out in lots of different colors and styles. Finally 140, that was our number. After an hour of so of waiting we the 140Th country to march was called. We walked about a half mile from the gymnastics building to the Bird's Nest. It was incredible... all lit up! As we got closer Lopez Lomong our flag bearer was presented the flag to carry in. We headed in... as we approached the stadium we entered a tunnel. Right as we were getting close we started a U-S-A, U-S-A, all of us as one. It was one of the many highlights of night. We are a proud family, a unit, full of honor and pride chanting as one U-S- A, U-S-A.
Then we entered, 90,000 people!!! It was indescribable... I had the chills and was filled with unexplainable excitement! Goose bumps... it was awesome! We weren't able to go to Opening in 04 because we played the next day... so now we have experienced it!!!!!
We walked in and soaked it all up enjoying being surrounded by our softball team. I just kept grinning and over flowing with so many emotions. I instantly thought of Casey, Ace, and our families, wishing I could share this moment! Everything from pride, to gratitude, anxiety, excitement, and even sadness. I could not help but think that this might be the last time softball players march in the opening ceremonies. It instantly brought tears to my eyes! We have to get it back, we have to get softball back in 2016. Softball players around the world deserve the opportunity to experience this! This just built up even more determination to get softball back as if I needed any more. The Venezuela softball team shared being flag bearer and passed it throughout their entire team. Chinese Taipei too had a softball player carry their flag! Our work is not done we will continue the fight, how can they take this away?
This was incredible. I just looked around and around. So many people, so many colors, so many nations! We were in awe... still smiling. And still smiling! It was everything and more and then some. We marched in and around the track it seemed like it took an hour... my arm aching as I continued to wave and grin! It was overwhelming. Once we marched to our spot we just stood in awe staring at the crowd, this place is HUGE! HUGE! Filled with people. Lots of US flags which made my arm ache disappear as we continued to wave through it all. We enjoyed the remarkable show still in awe chatting it up with the other athletes in between sharing our thrilling night. Watching the Olympic flag being raised was another assurance the games have begun. Its here 8-8-08! The torch being lit was absolutely wild... just wild. If you haven't seen it please youtube it! Its worth it! We were all standing in shock... this was unbelievable. Then it lit... the torch was lit. It had been all over the world even in Coach Candrea's hand in San Fran and now here in Beijing China! Fireworks exploded all over the city, it was amazing. Reminding us that "Amazing Awaits"!
After a long night still in awe we headed back to the village. It was surreal, a blur. We experienced so much. I am so grateful and blessed! What a night 8-8-08
Dreaming & Believing