Summary of first 24 hours in the Beijing Olympic Village....Astoundingly Amazing!!!! After arriving at the airport in Beijing from Japan at about 9pm, we were met by Alison Fitch, retired NZ swimmer and two-time Olympian and Gold Medalist Triathlete from 2004, Hamish Carter - pretty good way to get the "spectacular" and "unbelievable" senses of my brain working. Part of our team waiting for the final stragglers from the baggage collection with Hamish Carter's back showing in the foreground, right-hand side.
Then when we entered the village and walked toward our NZ apartment block we saw a sea of white shirts in front of us. As we got closer they did a haka for us, which, for those of you that do not know, is like the ones the All Blacks do except instead of saying "we will kill you, we will eat you" it's more of a "welcome to the village, hope you enjoy your stay" sort of thing! It was amazing though to have that performed for us! Once they finished our boys replied with one of their own which apparently could be heard on the other side of the village (which is a fair way away) and made me feel so proud to be kiwi! Someone, got a video so that will be uploaded at some point.
We were taken to our rooms which are sooooo awesome! We had paper bags on our beads with New Zealand lollies and chocolates in them to remind us of home. Things like pineapple lumps, jaffa's, naturals and jet planes! They know what makes athletes tick! Our team meeting room has the theme of bro'town (the TV show) which is awesome! And there's loads of poster's and pictures on the walls of New Zealand landmarks and stuff to really give us a sense of Aotearoa in Beijing. I will probably go and get pictures of all that stuff tomorrow to post up for everyone, and a quick video tour of the apartment (the Chinese people who get to live in them afterwards are very lucky indeed!).
This morning was an early start for the swimmers, breakfast at 6 and in the water at the Water-Cube at 7. I was feeling pretty tired until I saw the venue, then I woke up and was paying very close attention! Here's why:
It really is a stunning piece of architecture! I have yet to visit the other venues but will try to do so in the next few days, and I will be at the opening ceremony so will get lots of pictures of the bird's nest.
Now, to finish of this blog report, the final act of business on day one was receiving our opening ceremony uniform and greenstone. It was pretty special getting my box with that particular part of my uniform - I won't say what it is or describe it because that would ruin it for all you folks at home who will be looking out for it on tv! Although I will say that I will be proud to wear it into the stadium with all my other NZ team-mates and represent New Zealand, and I will try to stand on the very far right-hand side or at the back so that I have a better chance of getting seen by the camera!
Well, hopefully I have satisfied some of your curiosity! More pictures and video coming soon *Watch This Space*