Day 17: The Wall

In New York, out-of-towners find it funny/annoying/narcissistic that we refer to New York as “The City.” As in, “I live in The City,” or, “I’m going to The City tonight.”

Well, folks, here you can tell your hotel to book you a trip to “The Wall,” and a few hours later, you are on your way. Which is what Lindsay, Jim, Luke and I did this morning. The media center has a built-in travel agency, so Jim set up a trip for today. At 9 a.m., Mr. Ge picked us up in a silver van and drove us an hour to the Mutyanu section of the wall. By 3 p.m., we were back in our hotel rooms. In between, we walked roughly 2 miles and the equivalent of walking the stairs of the Washington Monument 10-15 times. They really should call this thing The Steps. The Great Wall of Steps. Large Steps. Tiny steps. Steep Steps. If there is a type of step, they built it into The Wall.

It was fun seeing all the athletes dragging themselves up and down The Great Wall. What a way to spend your off-day from competition. “Hey guys, now that we’re done, wanna run stadiums at the Great Wall?” (I did that, actually. I couldn’t resist. I also had to take a photo doing a handstand on The Wall, yoga on The Wall and meditating in the lotus position on The Wall.) But that’s nothing compared to what Kevin Michael Connolly did Saturday afternoon. Although I am exhausted, it was such an amazing experience. As has this entire trip.

I can’t believe we are one day from closing ceremonies and the end of the Olympics. But not my trip. Monday, I’m off to Shanghai!

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