Saturday, August 2, 2008

Olympic Village Day 1

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*


mum said...

Wow! Be sure to upload lots of photos and videos - we love you very much. And as always - remember who you are!

tirol said...

WOW Hayley... thats absolutely amazing!! I can not believe that you are actually there.

Make sure you put on some more photos and videos... i'm excited to see a lot more!!

Sarah said...

Hayley, how fantastic! so you are really just down the road at the Eden Project!!!! I'll come and cheer you on!!
Love you Sarah

Hannah said...

Ha! So much for the 'blue sky' happy-friendly days. Don't forget your mask!

Jessica Palmer said...


You lucky duck, what an incredible experience! We're all cheering for you in the US --- Good luck!

All the best,

Jessica Palmer

pen15 said...

wow hayley this is so cool! when do you race?? i have checked your blog thing every day! nice to finally see some photos!!
good luck with everything and do north shore proud!
from you number one squad buddy...penny!!!!!!! xox

Lana said...

Hayley Gloria Palmer you rock my world!!!! I'm so proud of all the hard work you have put in to get where you are now and you so totally deserve to be there. We are so proud of you and love you LOADS and TONNES...keep safe XXOX

Libby <3 said...

Hi you! Still can't believe you're there this year! Really proud of you Nemo. I can't wait for the party in your honor next week too, we'll all be there cheering you on. There was a full page article about you in the Gloucestershire Echo the other day, not sure if you know about it or not. It had pictures of you at St Eddys! Haha. Eek! Luckily no Denmark ones! Wishing you the best of luck for next week. Love you so much! xxx

tirol said...

Getty images posted some photos of the team. They had took a close up one of about 4 people waving, and you're in it. very noticable. mum showed it to me in my room while i was still half asleep turning my head... and i saw you straight away.
That show was absolutely spectacular! amazing! we just couldn't believe you were actually there!
It went on so long, that when it finished, my alarm to go training had been going for 45 mins! and training was at 6!
Anyways, it was just H-I-Lari-o-u-s!

Sarah said...

Saw you in the NZ Herald, but more importantly, you made the Gloucestershire Echo!!!!!!

Go Hayley!!!

Financial Musings from 485 said...

We wish you the best, Hayley!! We are rooting for you!!


Ken and Sherry and Baby Jill

Rob Biggs said...

Hi Hayley

We saw your parents' newsletter about your big adventure. I know you will do your very best!

Rob & Wendy Biggs

eggintons said...

How proud we are to knopw an Olympic Star. We may well have to change our patriotism as we are now torn between Team GB and NZ. Wishing you every success in your event - even if it is at the expense of GB!!! Love The Eggintons - F of D

zimbo4eva said...

haylay omg
this is so cool u look like ur havin a great time:) thanks for writing to me on my bday (u didnt forget:)) i hope ur racing goes really well tell the others i say goodluck and welldone so far..
miss ya