Aug. 11, 2008
Contact: Wendy Peel
Hi Everyone! Welcome to our experience of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China. Over the course of the week, my friend, Matt Dorsch and I will be giving you a detailed description of our trip. We have many wonderful adventures planned for you int he upcoming week.
For those of you who don't know us, my name is Wendy Peel. I'm currently attending John Carroll University, where I'm finishing my Master's degree in Communication Management. I've been apart of the swimming community for 16 years, participating with teams such as the WTRC Sharks, the KCST Cobras, the BSTC Blue waves and the Cleveland State University's Vikings. I've also coached the John Carroll Bluestreaks for two consecutive seasons.
Matt Dorsch has just finished his Master's degree at Cleveland State University in Medical Physics. He's been involved with swimming for 20 years, participating on teams such as John Carroll University Bluestreaks, University Swim Club, and the Birmingham Blue Dolphins. Dorsch has also coached John Carroll University and University Swim Club.
As you can see swimming has been a part of our lives for many years. It's one of our passions, making it a dream come true to see an American win an Olympic Gold.
The trip finally become true when we were dropped off at the Cleveland Hopkins Airport at 4:45am, Saturday, August 9th. As we checked in we spoke with Cleveland State University's Head Coach, Wally Morton. Morton and his wife have planned a trip to the Olympics every four years since the 1980's, however this year is different. This year, Morton has one of his swimmers and a former teammate of mine, Nedim Nisic, make the Bosnian Olympic Team in the 100 Meter Butterfly. Matt and I are keeping our fingers crossed that he performs well. We would really like watch him in the semi-finals.
Once we finished our chat with Wally and his wife Carol, we were off on our 19 hour trip to Beijing. The first flight took us to Chicago O'Hare, where we ended up having a six hour layover. During this time, Matt taught me how to play the great game of rummy. Unfortunately, I wasn't very good, but it did make the time move quickly.
We boarded, in Matt's words, "The mother ship of all airplanes" around noon. The 13 hour flight went very smoothly. We received numerous meals and slept majority of the flight. Lucky for me, I had a free seat next to me and I took advantage by crashing out for hours.
We arrived in Beijing around 2:45pm, August 10th. The Beijing Airport had to be one of the most impressive buildings we've ever seen. It was so large and very easy to navigate. The building had to be one of the cleanest airports I've ever encountered.
After clearing customs, we found the shuttle service that was pre-ordered with our flight. The shuttle was suppose to take us directly from the airport to our hotel, however 2 1/2 hours later, numerous stops and the possibility of a few tears running down my cheek, we found our hotel. The road our hotel was located on was restricted during the time of the Olympics. Thanks to numerous friendly locals, we were able to find our hotel safely.
Once settled, we decided to relax by walk around the city and get a better grasp of our barrings. In the pouring down rain, we saw the outskirts of the Forbidden City and Tieneman Square. Looking at these beautiful historical venues made us forget about the troubles hours before and become excited for rest of the week.
Today we plan to walk around the city. We will be taking tours of the Forbidden City and Tieneman Square. We will keep you updated of our travels.
Wendy & Matt