August 8 2012
Daily Stuff - In Florence. Made it to my hotel. the Hotel Alessandra. Very nice welcome for a weary traveler.
Yesterday, the Olympics were brilliant. Had to cram my computer and two changes of clothes in my back pack (along with my guidebooks) as I decided that I would head directly to the airport after my olympic experience.
Got to the Olympics early. I cried a bit when I walked past the final security and was in the Olympic Park. Very nicely done. A canal runs through it. Nice English type gardens. Wasn't too crowded in the morning. There is a big red observation type thingy in the middle that you tae an elevator up and then climb down. No, thanks.
Bought my Olympic swag. A cap and a t-shirt. Wasn't that crazy about the official Olympic design, but its growing on me.
So have lots of time and didn't get much sleep last night. Luckily, there were nice grassy ares where people were crashing. So I took advantage. Didn't sleep much, but at least I wasn't on my feet.
Event time. Saw the Men's high jump final. Men's 1500 meters final. Qualifying heats for Men's 800 meters. Qualifying for Women's long jump. Qualifying for Women's 200 meters. Qualifying and final for women's 100 meter hurdles. Two American women won silver and bronze and were very happy. The gold was won by an Australian, who seemed very deserving. And saw the discus...
As my blog readers may know, I went to the Olympics because of a personal attachment to the sport because I idolized 4 time Olympic gold medalist al Oerter. Well, these guys weren't Al. this is going to sound odd, but Al always looked to me as if he had a kind of spiritual thing going on. And he moved beautifully and classically. These guys were a bit more "brutish" but...
The winner, Robert Harting, kind of made the night for me. After a bit of jockeying, he finally won. Well, he jumped onto the running course and started yelling with the fans. then he ripped his shirt off (a la the Incredible Hulk), after more screaming and playing with reporters cameras, he grabbed a German flag wrapped it around his shoulders and started a victory lap, more screaming, then he proceeded to hurdle over the entire hurdling course that had been set up for the upcoming race and finished by trying to rip one of the Olympic torches out of the ground.
Not the same as classy Al, but so "in the moment" it was just a joy to watch him.
Enough for now, I'll blog some tomorrow about the "trip" to get here.
Oh, by the way, Florence at 9:30 pm is magical.