Day 1 of racing in Qingdao

Oskar and Kevin were delayed after shifty and light winds. With one race into the 10 race regatta they are in 8th place. For full results go to www.sailing.org or www.tornado.org
I caught him on tv yesterday on the local network QTV, channel 11, but the Tornado race weren't televised. Instead the Stars were.
See below for pics.

Last night after racing and a debrief Oskar and I caught a taxi to go out to Italian. The taxi drivers are crazy here, but do tone it down for westerns, even so as we were pulling in front of the restaurant the driver slams on his brakes and we hear a huge crash.

Very scary considering their are no seatbelts in the back seats of the cabs. Anyway, it turns out the authorities were using what looked like an over sized bike rack to warn drivers of an uncovered manhole (no lights, cones, or lane merging devices being used). So Oskar and I ran out of the taxi, threw our 10 rambos at our driver, and headed to our table for a much needed glass of wine.

Apparently, I did a little research this morning. The first american death during the olympics, which was swept under the red rug, was of a female volunteer on her way home to her hotel at night and fell into an uncovered man hole. It turns out that the covers are a hot commodity and were being stolen for scrap metal to use in the construction going on in beijing and qingdao.

Around the Village...

Below are some pictures from around the athlete's village.

This is one of the many abstract sculptures on the outskirts of the athlete's village.

The red wall is where athletes can sign their name and leave a message.

The Tornado is the most popular boat to be showcased on the building sized posters around Qingdao.

This is the view of the harbor from Oskar's room on the 10th floor.


The Olympic Village

Oskar gave me a tour yesterday of the Olympic Village and it's awesome.
The guys are staying at a 5-star hotel, but for free. All athletes have at their disposal; unlimited massages/reflexology, healthcare, food (dining hall and take-away cafe), gym, olympic sized pool and an army of volunteers. The newly built hotel offers the athletes sheek cafes/lounges, modern styled bedrooms with king size beds, views of the harbor, flatscreen tvs, wireless internet, and uber-fancy bathrooms. I'm really curious what these rooms with go for on a nightly basis once opened to the public.


Jet-lagged in Qingdao

Landed safetly in Qingdao and am finally beginning to feel like myself again. The 12-hour time difference really left me feeling like i was standing on my head.

Oskar and I are staying at the Gloria Inn and are really happy with our accomodations. It is an Olympic approved hotel and because of that service and quality are up to a certain standard. I really appreciate the complimentary jasmine tea, fruit basket (that contains chinese peaches which are in season right now), hot water, and king size bed. After seeing the squat toliets at the Qingdao Airport, I must admit I was a little scared.

Oskar starts racing the 15th, with a practice race tomorrow.
To watch his races go to:
U.S viewing schedule: http://xrl.us/nbcsked
Canadian viewing schedule: http://xrl.us/canadiansked

Already the 49er's, laser, laser radials, windsurfers and finn's are half way through their regatta. The Canadian Finn sailor, Chris Cook, is having a great regatta and is currently in 4th place.
Oskar's family and I have tickets to watch the racing from the break wall, but the coverage on tv is alot better. Unless, you have a high powered telescope, it is really difficult to tell what's going on.

Our hotel tv has great coverage of the Beijing and Qingdao events. There is Qtv which is fully dedicated to the water events taking place locally. Also, in the malls the chinese have set up a seating area with large screen tv's, which have the added bonus of ac.

In terms of food... Oskar's playing it really safe so that he doesn't get sick pre-games. He's sticking to non-chinese restaurants that import most of their ingredients. I on the other hand can afford to be more risky. A great breakfast buffet is provided by Gloria Inn. This morning my favorites were the noodle soup in a chicken broth with scallions and tomatoes, steamed buns, and spinach/pork dumplings.

For lunch I've been hitting up the 6th floor restaurant that specializes in szchuen & chinese food. The portions are huge and the prices are low, however the food has been on the oily side (even when ordering vegetarian) so I may try something new today. I don't like eating vegetables for dinner and then leave the table feeling like i just had an unheathly meal. Eating western you'll pay the same prices as home, where as eating local you'll pay a third of the price.

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