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Off to the 2008 Beijing Olympics!

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This week my wife and I are flying out to Beijing to attend the 2008 Beijing Olympics! Needless to say, we’re getting really excited.

We had to order our event tickets well over a year ago, and recently purchased a couple more tickets from a friend that couldn’t go. Over the course of twelve days we will be attending: Rowing, Athletics, Gymnastics, Triathlon, Beach Volleyball, Wrestling, and Weightlifting.

Key tickets for us are everything rowing (as you can guess by my previous posts), the Women’s Individual All-Around gymnastics final, and Athletics (to include Men’s steeplechase and long jump, Women’s 800m, Discus and Pole Vault). Provided we’re able to swap one of our two pairs of Saturday rowing finals tickets for a pair of Sunday finals, we will see 26 different finals and medal ceremonies.

Why we’re going

The main reason we decided to go to the Olympics over a year ago was to support our friends from Thames Rowing Club, where we’ve been rowing for four years. Elise Laverick is rowing in the Women’s Double Sculls with Anna Bebington, and Ali Knowles and Beth Rodford are rowing in the Women’s Eight. Last year Annie Vernon rowed for Thames (she’s since switched clubs), and she’s competing in the Women’s Quad Sculls. Oh, and Al Heathcote is rowing in the Men’s Eight; he’s the brother of a guy on Thames men’s squad.

Getting ready

It’s only been in the last few days that I’ve started to get really excited about the Olympics. We decided to do a Homestay, which I was initially unsure about. But now that we’ve been in touch with the owners of the flat (a Canadian man and his Chinese wife) I’m stoked. We’ll have wireless access, so we should be able to upload photos and blog on a daily basis while we’re there.

The Olympic Committee also recently released their visitor’s guide, which finally gives a little more information as to how we’ll be able to get in between venues. Considering the Rowing and Triathlon venues are well outside Beijing central, this is key for us. It took a bit to download the 100 MB PDF (!), but it’s packed full of information. As long as we have a ticket for an event on the day, transportation in the city that day is free.

By the way, I’ve been using TripIt to organise our whole trip… I highly recommend it!

Visiting Beijing

I also hope to see a bunch of Beijing while we’re there. The Great Wall is a trip that we’re trying to fit in on one of the days, but since it’s a little way outside the city we may need to skip one of the event sessions; we’ll see. To be honest, I’m treating this as a secondary part of our trip. We want to see the spectacle of the athletes and competition, everything else will be a bonus.

Subscribing

If you’d like to get all of my Beijing blog updates, you can subscribe! Just click here to get new posts by e-mail, or click here if you’d like the RSS feed.

With wireless access, I hope to be posting daily with impressions and photos from the day. I may also be able to post occasionally from the venue with photos now that I’ve got my iPhone! Oh, and I hope to be sending updates to Twitter, too. This is going to be great!