Last night, I attended the Opening Ceremonies of the XXIX Olympiad. The first hour was the most amazing feat of choreography, precision, artistry and engineering I have ever seen. This wanabe circus girl was impressed. The athlete precession was long. The torch lighting was the coolest thing I have ever seen. It gave me chills, and my heart skipped a couple beats—this time for the right reason. Read my ESPNTHEMAG.com Cliff’s Notes version here.
Today, I spent my morning at the men’s gymnastics qualifiers. The U.S. men did exceptionally well, considering they are now competing two alternates and not a single member of the team is a returning Olympian. Check out the piece I wrote for ESPN.com and this lighter take I did for espnthemag.com.
Although everyone was reeling from a fantastic start to the Games, we were all saddened at the news of the murder of the father-in-law of U.S. men’s indoor volleyball coach McCutcheon. His mother-in-law is in critical condition after eight hours of surgery, and he and his wife are with her at the hospital. The team competes tomorrow, and I imagine this game will mean a whole lot more than they ever expected. My colleague Pat Forde wrote about the tragedy for ESPN.com.
Now for some thoughts on public transportation (aka … Cab Blab)
* Tonight, on my way out to meet my friends Lisa and John at the Coke/Nike/Swiss House/Club Bud parties, I called a cab. My driver, like most, spoke no English, so I showed him a piece of paper with the name of the first location written on it in Chinese. He nodded. Then, about two minutes into the ride, he took out a tape (you read me right—a tape) and popped it in the tape deck. Three notes in, I started giggling, as Jack Johnson’s voice filled our cab. I guess some things are universal.
* On the way home from said parties, I started to fall asleep, but was jolted awake by the feel of a sudden stop. I opened my eyes to see that the driver had missed the exit and had come to a complete stop in the center of the highway. He then drove backwards for about 200 meters and corrected his mistake.
Random observations …
– Cicadas go to sleep at 10 p.m.
– Chicago native David Schwimmer was at the Bud party last night, escorted by the head of the Chicago bid committee. Do they think Ross is going to help them pull votes? If that’s the case, let’s all start booking our tickets to Rio.
See you tomorrow. I promise to start uploading some photos soon.