Greetings from Beijing, China! Today marks the first morning I woke up in the Athlete Village. Unfortunately for you, although I am happy to report, I do not think any words will describe what I see here….all around me! But, over the next few weeks, I will certainly do my best!
The team touched down in San Francisco, CA on Saturday morning. This was the first stop on our journey. In northern California the US Olympic Committee has set up camp for all the Olympic athletes to stop on there way to the Games. You spend 4 hours there in “processing” This is a time to get all your Olympic apparel, yes, even the opening and closing ceremony attire. We also went through security briefings, stopped to get the clothing altered, rings sized, and other fun events. I was exhausted that night, but merely because the excitement of everything was starting to sink in.
The next morning we boarded a bus with other Olympic athletes, men’s volleyball, fencing, and some track and field athletes, and headed for the airport. I was shocked to see all the media camped out just to film us walking around, but it was nothing like the circus at the airport in Beijing. All the cameras and reporters is something that they inform you about, but you can’t get the full effect until you see them in your face. Definitely not something we are used to, coming from the field hockey delegation. We had a lot of security and the USA committee whisked use off on the buses as fast as possible. From the windows, we got to see the Bird Nest, the Water Cube, and other venues in the Olympic Green. I have to say that American football stadiums do not compare.
I look forward to updating you more as the days pass. I am headed to breakfast to try and find some food in the 350 foot cafeteria. It’s so large and overwhelming that it’s difficult to keep it simple. Until next time, all the best to you!
Keli Smith Puzo is a two-time Olympic Field Hockey player, Wife to Inako Puzo, head coach at Miami University, Mother of two young boys and your everyday kind of gal trying to keep it all together.