Sunday, August 17, 2008

A Day Off with the Cooke Family

By: Dick Cooke
Day off today. Strasburg does a bullpen in the morning, but other than that, our guys stay away from the field. Tonight Korea and China will finish their suspended game from the other day with the score 0-0 in the 6th.

11 a.m. - Blundell and I head to the Olympic Village and Olympic Common area to take in the sights. Tons and tons of people are here today arriving at and leaving venues. We get to the Water Cube not too long after Michael Phelps has finished his last competition, and there are hundreds of media waiting at the athlete bus for him. We have to do our best LaDainian Tomlinson impression to get through the crowd.

5 p.m. - The Cooke family arrives safely at the hotel. Other than the long flight, it was a painless day of travel. After dinner, we hit Tiananmen Square, and it is spectacluar in its lighting. People are everywhere walking around the square. No vendors or cheap souvenir stands to run the effect. We get a lot of looks and smiles as I carry eight-year-old Erin on my shoulders around the square.

10 p.m. - The family collapses and I go to the Anheuser Busch House with Blundell and security guy LeRoy Hendricks. It's a place for athletes, coaches and staff from all countries to hang out and is open every other night during the Games. It's a nice opportunity for the athletes to get out of the village. It has sort of an MTV feel to it with a red carpet area for the famous to stroll across. We walked in a different way...

I have a brief conversation with Carl Lewis, and apparently, Michael Phelps was in the house but we did not spot him.

China tomorrow night at 7 p.m. They lost the completion of the suspended game 1-0 in 11 innings. They have played very well in the tournament, and we must focus on this game and not get ahead of ourselves.

Cuba and Korea are undefeated, Japan and the USA have two losses, Canada, China, Taipei and the Netherlands have three losses. Everyone has three games remaining in the first round.

Today was the end of the relaxing days for quite a while.

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