Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Arrival in Beijing by Angela Madsen

Angela Madsen (USA TA2x) and Ron Harvey (USA AM1x)
Rowing venue in Beijing

The rowing venue is awesome! It felt really good to be on the water for the first time yesterday. The new boat feels good. Focusing on training, racing and keeping it very together with my rowing partner and coach. Staying hydrated and cool. It is hot and humid here much like Philadelphia so I am pretty well acclimated and my time in Philly is paying off. I am not allowing myself to get stressed out or worked up over anything. I am visualizing surfing for mental stress management, in fact I am wearing my Wheels to Water surfing rash guard and board shorts as I sit here returning e-mails, writing and listening to Superchick and Casting Crowns.

It is a much different atmosphere than our World Championships. We are integrated with our regular National Rowing Team at Worlds so there are more rowing events,more boats and many more people. The rowing venue is very quiet by comparison and we do miss our National Rowing Team. Congratulations to all of our Olympians! Go USA! On the other hand, in this experience we are housed with our national Paralympic Team. We all go to our sport specific venues during the day and socialize a bit over meals at the cafeteria and in the Paralympic Village with all the worlds Paralympians. We are meeting some really cool athletes and everyone has interesting stories, non that I can share "blogging restrictions"

With all of the blogging restrictions it is difficult to have anything to write about. Athletes have to take care not to violate the rules so many have decided not to blog at all. I on the other hand will just try and stay within the guidelines so I will apologize in advance for lack of content in pictures and in text. It was stated in our briefing that the rules and restrictions apply until 3 days post closing ceremonies and I am permitted to inform everyone that these rules are in effect.

It is a long bus ride to the venue every day but our practices are in the afternoon so no need to rise early and rush. We went to the shops yesterday and I did most all of my shopping. I always make gift bags for my three granddaughters. Amanda 13, Angel 7 and Cheyenne 5. I like to get my shopping done right away as many others do also but it was not super crowded. It is most likely because everything is efficiently managed here. Nothing feels crowded and everything is relaxed.

As other athletes are arriving the atmosphere is still very relaxed. I can't imagine it staying that way for long as opening ceremonies and the beginning of competition are just around the corner. Time goes by quickly here and today I finally got a wireless Internet signal where yesterday there was none. Excellent example of what can happen when effort is made in spite of previous negative results "never give up!'

Oars up!


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