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Farewell Beijing..

If you didn’t get a chance to catch the closing ceremonies of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, it’s too bad. Personally, I usually don’t care too much about closing ceremonies, and I figure most people won’t be watching either. However, I must say the artistry of it all was hard to forget. I loved the guys with the climbing harnesses, dressed in half silver half red, climbing up this steel beam tower, looked like ants. At one point they were able to position themselves to represent roses blooming, which was amazing. At the end, it got cheesy with all the singers and dancers coming out, proving the fact that Hong Kong/Taiwan has produced most of the famous singers with the likes of Jackie Chan (well, part-time singer), Andy Lau, Kelly Chen, and Leehom.

But if you were to go back to re-visit some of the can’t miss events of the Olympics, here is my top 5 list:

  1. Opening Ceremonies – someone mentioned to me that it would be hard to think of another live performance in history that would be able to top this…
  2. 4×100 free relay final – 46.06 by Jason Lezak on the last leg for the Americans. That is by far the most insane swim time a most heated race, helping Phelps get a gold, and setting a WR in the process. Instant classic.
  3. Men’s 100m dash – I don’t think we can fully appreciate how fast someone who is 6-5, and runs like a madman, but Usain Bolt did it. The 200m also ranks up there as well, with him taking down Michael Johnson’s long-standing record.

Had to add this. Insanely stupid move in the Olympics:
Loser of Taekwondo match goes and kicks referee. Kids, please do not do this at home, or anywhere else.

And other sports/non-sports highlights from ESPN here and CBC here and here.

Overall, it was a great Games, lots of fun, can’t wait for Vancouver 2010.

How to get the most from the Olympics in Beijing

  1. Do book a hotel the day before you arrive, and make sure you bargain like you would bargain for clothes at the Silk Market.
  2. Find a relative that makes the Olympics as an athlete and make sure the sport is very hi-profile, like swimming.
  3. Go watch athletes in warmup and notice how focused they are.
  4. Do hang out and mingle in the stands with the likes of the rich and famous.
  5. Take advantage of the benefits from supporting organizations, and in turn, get free tickets to events.
  6. And if they have a buffet, make sure you eat as much as you can.
  7. Make sure you also attend the various evening parties that are held.
  8. Repeat #6 for #7
  9. Bring plenty of water wherever you go. And if you run out, it’s alright. Prices for bottles of water are capped at 3RMB (Word has it it used to be 7RMB inside the forbidden city!)
  10. Go right up to strangers who you think are athletes and say hi to to them. Celebrate their accomplishment of making the Olympics!
  11. Baseball Playerse

  12. Be amazed at the architecture, such as the Water Cube, the Bird’s Nest, and the CCTV Tower.
  13. Try not to get too sick of CCTV playing montages of nothing but Chinese athletes and Michael Phelps all day.
  14. Remember to sleep. With all the excitement it’s easy to forget!

Another friend wins a gold!

This wasn’t about being a surprise, it was about redemption. My high-school friend Kyle Hamilton and his 7 teammates rowed their way into Olympic history by claiming the gold for Canada in the finals yesterday. The redemption is complete as their men’s eight rowed to a disappointing 5th place finish four years ago in Athens.

I remember going to a Canucks game with him and showing his gold medal from winning a world championship, but as most athletes understand, a world championship without an Olympic gold still feels incomplete.

His team comprises of Kyle Hamilton of Richmond, B.C., Adam Kreek of London, Ont., Dominic Seiterle and Malcolm Howard of Victoria, Jake Wetzel of Saskatoon, Andrew Byrnes of Toronto, Ben Rutledge of Cranbrook, B.C., Kevin Light of Sidney, B.C., and Price of Belleville, Ont.

So, congrats Kyle! Way to go with having the hard work pay off.

You can read more on them on TSN

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