Friday, August 22, 2008

Seeing the Sights on Another Off Day

By: Dick Cooke
The rain is here as predicted, so the decision to forego today's practice is wise. A few players will hit in the cage at Beijing Normal University where the USA has a training facility. Hessman and one or two other hitters plan to go.

Despite the rain, the Cookes head to the Great Wall in the morning with the tour guide who took us around the Forbidden City. This will be my only chance to go with them.

An hour and a half trip, and it's rainy and foggy when we arrive, but clears up a bit as we walk the wall. It's amazing. We spend a good two hours and are sufficiently exhausted when we head back to town. Great job by our guide, and great job by Susan and the girls covering a lot of ground.

On the way back, we get a call from a team doc letting us know there are tickets available to tonight's gold medal women's softball game versus Japan.

After a quick McDonald's dinner, the Cookes, Seiler, Blundell and our security guys head to the softball game and sit right in the middle of the USA parents, who cheer from first pitch to last. A number of our players and staff are at the game as well. An unfortunate result, as the USA loses 3-1 in a great game.

Susan and the girls have now been to seven Olympic events, including two gold medal finals, the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, the Silk Factory and the Great Wall. A great effort for five days, with two more baseball games to go, and who knows what else.

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