Saturday, July 26, 2008

Great Wall, Lots of Steps

This just in: The Great Wall of China is, well...very steep in places. Like, a 75% grade. We kid you not. Where the U.S. team visited this morning, sometimes you felt like you were walking up a sheer face. How they built this 3,000 mile wall is truly remarkable. Standing on it makes you realize that it is without a doubt one of the Great Wonders of the World. Said Lori Chalupny, "Lance Amstrong would not be riding up this part of the Great Wall." Needless to say, it was a workout, but since the U.S. team didn't have training today, they got a good sweat going and can now proclaim (on a t-shirt or not): That I Climbed the Great Wall of China. It was a bit foggy so the views were perhaps not as spectacular as they could of been, but still, seeing the wall in person after many years of seeing it on TV was still awe-inspiring. The U.S. team went to the Badaling section of the wall, which is the most visited part and about 50 miles outside of Beijing. The U.S. players took plenty of pictures with the tourists, whether it was because they were Americans or Olympic athletes, we're not quite sure...probably a mixture of both. The team went to an excellent lunch a five-star hotel right near the wall and then headed back to Beijing, where they got a look from the bus at the now famous Water Cube, where the aquatic events will be held, and the Bird's Nest, which will feature the Opening and Closing Ceremonies as well as track and field and the men's soccer final. Once again, no matter how many times you've seen them on TV, in person, they were stunning buildings.

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