About BTiell Sports Reports

Dr. Bonnie Tiell writes a monthly column for the Tiffin Advertiser Tribune Sports Department (http://www.advertiser-tribune.com/). This blog archives each column and dates back to the 2008 Olympic Academic Experience in Beijing, China. Check out the Blog Archives to read more. Check out info about the TU Olympic Academic Experience at http://www.tuolympics.blogspot.com/ and contact Dr. Tiell at btiell@tiffin.edu

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Aug 27, 2008 Phelps, Bolt, The Cube and smog ruled Beijing for 2 weeks

The closing ceremony is over, the flame has been extinguished, and London officially has been tabbed as host of the next Olympic Summer Games in 2012. The challenge for London certainly will be how to stage the Olympics on somewhat of a curtailed budget while still managing to impress the world. From an operational view, London will have to do a more formable job in ticket distribution so would-be-spectators (such as those participating in the Tiffin University Olympic Academic Experience) aren't left in the cold while hundreds of seats remain unoccupied.

I've taken time to reflect on the impressions of the Beijing Olympics by creating a top-five list in a number of categories:

Most Impressive
1. The Water Cube.
2. Michael Phelps.
3. Usain Bolt.
4. The Opening and Closing Ceremonies.
5. 40 billion spent by China on the Olympics.

Most Disappointing
1. Learning the Games were sold-out only days before beginning the trip.
2. USA softball silver medals after outscoring opponents 52-2 and being unbeaten in 22 Olympic games since softball was added in Atlanta in 1996.
3. Waiting for hours to see a glimpse of the final leg of the torch relay which flashed by unnoticed in a speeding bus.
4. The Olympic Village Tour being canceled.
5. Our bus driver refusing to pick us up anywhere but the final subway stop after learning Americans can navigate public transportation in Beijing.

Most Shocking
1. American tourist stabbed to death on top of Drum tower.
2. Tyson Gay - the men's and women's USA 4 x 100 relay teams failing to qualify after dropping the baton.
3. The Chinese government ordering the banning of broadcasting the opening ceremonies on big screens 90 minutes before the scheduled start and prompting all tourists to return to hotels.
4. Hutongs, poverty and more poverty.
5. USA softball losing the gold medal game to Japan (.still a tough pill to swallow!).

Most Cultural
1. Opening Ceremonies with 22,000 participants and amazing technology.
2. Scores of ping pong tables and rudimentary elliptical machines at almost every public park.
3. Tiananmen Square and the hot springs designed for Emperors.
4. The Rooftop Bar at Emperor's Hotel overlooking the Forbidden City.
5. Translator instructions on the proper use of chop sticks.?

Most Commercial
1. The Olympic Green with every top sponsor having a building to show off stunning technology and glitz.
2. Street vendors capitalizing on ambush marketing of Olympic and national flags.
3. 34.2 million people in the United States watching the Opening Ceremonies, a bigger audience than the 2008 finale of "American Idol."
4. Olympic banners decorating streets, buildings, and bridges for a hundred miles in all directions.
5. KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) EVERYWHERE.

Most Bizarre
1. U.S. cyclists arriving to the Beijing airport sporting masks.
2. All those steps on the Great Wall.
3. The suicide jump by the attacker on the U.S. tourists.
4. The infamous Chinese "Squatty-Potty."
5. Trying cow tongue and octopus ordered by Fred Zoeller at a traditional Chinese restaurant. ?

Most Controversial
1. Opening ceremony singing scandal with a beautiful little girl lip-synching while the actual broadcasted voice was hidden because of her imperfect crooked teeth.
2. Opening ceremony fireworks prerecorded for theatrical effects.
3. Age of the Chinese Gymnasts.
4. Speedo LZR racing suits.
5. Medal count between USA and China - the most gold, or the most overall medals??

Most Personal
1. Jennie Finch discussing Donald Trump, Nellie and her season on Celebrity Apprentice.
2. Living in a dormitory for two weeks with crazy college students and surviving on the daily rice dish at breakfast.
3. Cheering for Kimmy, the only student reaching the top of the wall at the Mountain Bar resort after her "run" up the Great Wall.
4. Sharing Olympic memories with families of the USA softball team and continuing friendships.
5. Enriching the life of Kimmy and a diverse, talented student contingency at the Athens and Beijing Olympics.

Most Memorable
1. The Water Cube, Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt.
2. Crystl Bustos and four others leaving cleats at home plate and China/Australia/USA spelling out 2016 with softballs.
3. Empty stands at the USA vs. Canada softball makeup game leaving us to a private showing with the families of players.
4. A half-million smiling volunteers, especially those trying to help us find public transportation routes.
5. Navigating public transportation to ticket distributors and venues, squatty-potties ... and the Smog.

Thanks for reading the saga of the Tiffin University Olympic Academic Experience. It has been one to remember.

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