London 2012, Day 11 – Newcastle

Yesterday in the media center, I heard another journalist say he was experiencing, “Day 10 drag.” Everyone within earshot, whether they meant to or not, started nodding in silent agreement. But if we were dragging yesterday, what are we doing today?

Hopefully avoiding “Day 11 derailment.”

Last night was a semi-late one; I was in bed by 1:30 and probably asleep by 2. (Those ducks don’t make it easy.) Then it was back up at 7 for a shower and a 20-minute walk to the Javelin train, which took me to King’s Cross. There, I caught the 9:00 BritRail train to Newcastle, the next city on my tour of the UK.

Another beautiful stadium, and the best seats in the house!

For today’s quarterfinal game against New Zealand, I decided to make a day trip of it. (Can  you hear the Beatles playing as you read this blog, now?) The game was at 2 pm, so the 9 a.m. train (Newcastle is three hours from King’s Cross) gave me just enough time to make it to the stadium and find the media center and do a bit of work before the start.

I started regretting my decision not to stay the night the moment the train pulled in to Newcastle. What a beautiful city. Easily my favorite so far, and that’s a sentiment shared by everyone I talked to in the media center today. Joe from the AP said just being in Newcastle has revived him. And it couldn’t be a more beautiful day. Simpsons-style clouds, and all.

Artsy photo of an Olympic torch statue in the Newcastle City Center …

The game was a lot of fun. A little too close for most of it, which kept it interesting for all of us watching, but probably provided a little more stress than coach Sundhage was expecting in her day. Watching Sydney Leroux score her first Olympic goal was the moment of the game. Read my story on Syd the Kyd and Team USA’s quarterfinal win over New Zealand HERE.

After the game, I  dashed back to the train station to catch the 7:30 back to London, only to find out there was no 7:30 train back to London. I sprinted through my favorite town yet – I wish I’d stayed – for no reason. So I grabbed a beer, hung out in the train station and caught the 8:15 “home.”

I was home by 12:30 and now, at almost 2, I’m off to bed … And we’ll do it all over again tomorrow!

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