Wednesday, July 30, 2008

And now a word from Angie

I am nowhere near as poetic as Scott and I haven't had a life long dreams of attending the Olympics. In fact, my desire to attend the Olympics came in 2004, when a bunch of our Storm players went off to play in them. As Scott said, it was too late at that time to do anything about it that year, but that got the ideas flowing.

To give you some background, I’m not a real big sports fan. I’m more of a team fan. I never followed the WNBA until we got our own team. I didn’t follow the roller derby until I met a roller girl. I generally have to know someone or feel some connection before I become involved in a sport even as a spectator.

But then we started getting world class athletes on our Storm team. Our current Olympians are Sue Bird (USA), Lauren Jackson (Australia) and Kelly Santos (Brazil). But during our existence as a team, we’ve had 21 Storm players who have been on their respective countries National Teams and competed in either the Olympics or the World Champions. 21!

Suzy Batkovic (Australia)
Tully Bevilaqua (Australia)
Sue Bird (USA)
Sandy Brondello (Australia)
Edna Campbell (USA)
Swin Cash (USA)
Iziane Castro Marques (Brazil)
Simone Edwards (Jamaica)
Yolanda Griffith (USA)
Sonja Henning (USA)
Lauren Jackson (Australia)
Edwige Lawson-Wade (France)
Astou Ndiaye-Diatta (Senegal)
Florina Pascalau (Romania)
Kelly Santos (Brazil)
Alessandro Santos de Oliveira (Brazil)
Katy Steding (USA)
Jung Sun-Min (Korea)
Sheryl Swoopes (USA)
Kamila Vodichkova (Czech Republic)
Francesca Zara (Italy)

Even thought they aren’t all still playing for their national teams nor are all their countries competing in this Olympics, it seems to me that attending the Olympics to see our current and former Storm girls play is the ultimate fan experience. It will be awesome!

We've had to persevere though some long waits, overloaded website and lack of information, but we were able to score seats for every since women’s basketball game that is occurring between August 17th and the 23rd which includes the medal games. I nearly had a nervous breakdown trying to obtain the gold medal game tickets though. We couldn’t get any information as to what time the second round of tickets would go on sale, just the date. I stayed up nearly all night checking CoSport's website to see when they’d go on sale. I even stayed home from work for the morning to make sure I didn’t miss it. Then when they did go on sale, there was so much demand and so much traffic that it took me 45 minutes to find the tickets, and get just to the point where I was paying for them, when the website canceled my order because I had taken too long to finalize it! It’s a minor miracle that both my computer and cell phone didn’t end up tossed across the room in frustration. After calling Scott in tears, I decided to try again. After all, what was the point in flying all the way to Beijing to miss the most important game of all? I was lucky that there were at least two tickets left and I managed to snag them. Then I called Scott again crying with relief.

Since that time, I have been reading guide books, researching on the internet and ordering things to make our trip easier and more secure. This is going to be the first time that I have ever left the continental U.S. except for a couple of trips to Vancouver, BC. In fact, we both had to obtain our first passports for this trip.

For those of you who don’t know, I’m a tad obsessive compulsive and tend to plan things to death. See the below photos of the infamous binder including tabs to help make sure we have ever single scrap of information we might need on our trip. Despite Scott’s comments to the contrary, I have not scheduled every minute of every day, but it’s close. Of the 10 days we will spend in Beijing, we have approximately two and half days that are unscheduled at this point, but I do have lists of what we can do or where we can go that seemed interesting.

The cute little critters on the front of the binder are the official mascots of the Beijing Olympics. They were initially called the Friendlies, but the Chinese decided that was too close to Friendless so they changed the group name to Fuwa. Click here for a better picture and the press release regarding these cuties.

Scott has been a peach and left most of the details to me partially because I’m a bit of a steamroller when I get going and partially because he didn’t want to do it or would have left it to the week before we left and I’d be having panic attacks. It all works out well though. I plan and he ignores what he doesn’t want to do when we get there. Everybody’s happy.

Oh, I will NOT be trying scorpion on a stick.


Shed said...

Wow Angie that looks like my binder, except I was building a house. Way to be organized. :)

Angie said...

I'm very obsessive and do this for nearly every trip. It makes me feel more comfortable that I won't come up against something I can't handle. I'm a believer of the saying "better safe than sorry."