August 7 – Got to the Olympic Village finally. We had a 14 hour flight from Washington DC to Beijing. That was after we had a night game the night before against Canada. We beat them in 7 innings and then I started the 8th inning and struck the first guy out and then broke the next guy’s bat as he grounded out to short. Casey Weathers got the final out. The 8th inning didn’t count but we were just getting some work in. Then that next morning at 4:30 and bused 5 hours to D.C. It wasn’t that bad, really. We watched a couple of movies and dozed in and out for the the whole trip.
Once aboard the plane I planned on sleeping but couldn’t get comfortable. Instead I watched episodes of “The Office,” and read a lot. I was sitting next to Brandon Knight and it was good to talk to him and get to know him. We talked a lot about grips and pitching but we also found out we knew some of the same guys as well. He had played with a couple former ‘Huskers and was asking me about them. The guys he was asking about were ones that had left before I got to Nebraska. It’s just good to finally start to know some of our teammates on a different level.
After 14 hours we landed in Beijing and started our process of getting checked in. Of course we went through customs and what not but it was pretty easy due to the lines that were for Olympic athletes. Once we got our baggage we were escorted to our bus and headed out to the Village. Everything and everyone has been very accommodating and helpful. The Village is a very nice place and there are tons of athletes. I am excited to try and meet some of them. Maybe give my German speaking skills a little work. Then again probably not.
Tonight we have a practice game against China and then that’s all I know of. I am looking forward to Opening Ceremonies tomorrow night. We can see all of the buildings from the Village and they are spectacular. China has done a great job of preparing for the games.
August 4, 2008
Well the road to Beijing didn’t really start off on a good note. My flight was cancelled and I missed the first day of getting our gear in San Jose, CA. I did get there late that night so that was a positive. We were in California for a couple of days basically going through orientation, learning to speak basic Chinese, and getting all our clothes for the Olympics. We are sponsored by Polo and Nike and the gear we got was unbelievable.
The stuff we are wearing for opening ceremonies is very classy. I dont know if I am supposed to spill the beans with what we are wearing or not but we have white slacks, a white dress shirt, blue Polo blazer, Polo shoes and a white driving cap. We also will wear a Polo tie. It should look sharp. After San Jose we traveled across country to Durham, NC.
Here in Durham we are staying at the Umstead Hotel and Spa. While here we have had a media day, a workout that was pretty light and three games against Canada. I threw in the first game. I came out of the bullpen and threw two innings giving up one hit, and striking one out. We did lose the the first game in extra innings, but since then have played incredibly well.
Our team has a very wide range of guys when it comes to age. We have guys anywhere from 20 to 32 and we have one college kid from San Diego State. The first college kid to be on an Olympic team since 1999 or something like that.
Tonight, we have our fourth and final game in the states against Canada and then will bus out tomorrow morning at 4:30 am. We are heading to Washington, DC and then fly out that afternoon on a 14 hour non stop flight to Beijing. We were told to be careful with taking laptops and things of value to us because of reports of stuff missing when coming back to the room from an event. Our security people have told us that there have actually been accounts of people finding spyware on their computer when returning to the states, so that when they send an email or anything, the Chinese government can see it. So hopefully that doesnt happen and everything will be fine.
I guess I will write again after I am in Beijing.
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