Paige Larson: Day 9 in Beijing


So the weather is not all that great again, with rain in the night. Clouds since this morning, with a light misty rain falling off and on. It is still hot though, so not that bad. And I managed to get to sleep in until 8 this morning, which was great.

Last night at the track there was a crash with 4 or 5 chairs in the women’s 5000 meter race. That is 12.5 laps of the track, and the crash was on the 11th lap. One of our girls was in the crash, but she was ok. Apparently a girl from Switzerland didn’t turn her chair around the corner by hitting the steering thing, so she hit into the other Swiss girl beside her. That sent them crashing, with someone cartwheeling over, and then 3 others ran into them. This ended with 3 girls going to the hospital on spinal boards. The handling of the situation was about as far from good as is possible…In the end the other Canadian girl, Diane Roy won – but the race was protested, which was successful and has been set to be re-run on Thursday morning. But now there has been another protest filed to let the results stand, so we have to wait and see. Now the real games have begun….

More info on this and that….they have fans blow on the flags when they raise them for the medal ceremonies so that they don’t just hang there in the windless stadium. Looks kind of funny as they hang limp to the top and then hit the fanned area and start to flutter. The stadium was full last night for the athletics events, meaning there were close to 90,000 people there – truly amazing!

At the warm-up track they have it all fenced off with maybe 10 foot high chainlink and then stuff over it so that people can’t see in. But the people manage to get onto maybe a hill beside the fence in one area and they can just get their head over the fence. They stick their cameras up and take pictures over the fence – looks pretty funny with these heads popping up over the fence with their cameras. Another thing about the warm-up track is that they have music there. It was mostly the Beijing song and the Paralympic song – One World One Dream – yesturday, and it was driving people crazy that were there all day. Today I heard the Stones and Chariots of Fire (how appropriate is that?!!), so maybe there will mix it up a bit now. Or maybe it is like the continuous loop in the cafeteria.

There are so many people at the Olympic Green area, they actually need a ticket just to get on to the green. There are hugh line ups to see everything. All of the sponsors of the Games have buildings in the Green, so people line up to get in – not sure what is in them as I have not heard of anyone actually going in to any of them! Seems that there are people just going to the Green and not actually going to any events. There are certainly people coming to the area and not even going into the Green, so that they can see the venues – which truly are spectactular.

And things are moving right along here now. A few disappointed athletes today as some are eliminated when they hoped to do better. Such is life – you are only as good as your next race….or game….

Cheers from Beijing, Paige

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