Friday, October 9, 2009

Hello From Busy Sydney

Me & Kirk Benz at LAX
My Poles Arrive Safely
My hotel in the back on the left. My pit in front. My poles are under the stands 50m to the left.

Too much to talk about so let's get started. I'll have to put up photos tomorrow as I have the wrong AC adapter for my computer so I'm stuck with battery power. Also it's 50 cents per minute up to $27.50 per day for the Internet so my time needs to be limited until I find another access. Warning - this will be probably jump around and be rambling so I cover the stuff I wanted to.

The flight was great and long as you would expect. My good friend and fellow M55 pole vaulter, Kirk Benz, came out and met me at LA and we hung out talking for nearly two hours before my flight to Sydney. What a great guy, great vaulter and great friend. I appreciate his insights into helping each other get better.

Qantas started off by giving us dinner at nearly 1 AM because that was dinner time in Syndey. After that it was nap time and they woke us up again about 5:30 to get ready for breakfast. I figure I got about six hours of sleep. We landed at 8:25, got through customs and quarantine to meet my group. There are SO MANY uniforms from all over the world as the airport was a zoo. On our flight I quit counting T-shirts I saw for the different sports at 12. Everything from water polo, volleyball, weightlifting, track cycling, boxing, gymnastic, rowing, etc.

Rather than wait for everyone to go to together, I took a cab out to the Olympic Park where my hotel is and beat the check in crowd. It was just dragging on and on as they waited for more people so I had to get out if there. That luck did not carry over to the credentialing where the line is literally more than 1,000 athletes waiting to get photo IDs. I'll go back first thing in the morning. BTW - today was drizzly and in the low to mid 50s but this afternoon is nice and sunny but breezy. I can see the big bridge and downtown from my hotel window as well as most of the Olympic Park venues. Pretty awesome. The only negative is no bath tub. I like to soak and read to relax so I guess I'll have to find the Jacuzzi. BTW - they sit and drive on the right side of their cars and drive on the left side of the road.

Speaking of first thing, the very second I walked into my hotel I called Nancy to catch up with her. We set up our schedule to talk from this point forward. Speaking of calls - I took a short nap and was shocked back to this millineum by the telephone ringing. I knew it was too late for Nancy so I thought maybe it was Phillip about tomorrow. NO - It was the lady telling me that my poles had arrived. I got directions and the contact person's name and walked the seven minutes over to the Athletic Center where they arrived in PERFECT CONDITION. Kris and Bruce did such an incredible taping and labeling job that appranently no on wanted to mess with because the grips and tape were just as I left them.

I walked out to the place I will vault and maybe it's 50 meters from where my poles are stored. WOW - could not be a better situation. The wind for our pit looked pretty much of a crosswind from the left but everybody will have to deal with it. One minor concern is that at 3:30 the sun was still pretty high but will come down behind the pit and could shade or shield my ability to see the plant box so vision later in the competition could be an issue. This happened to Don at Worlds in Italy in 2007. He had to wear sunglasses and a hat to be able to see the box. I don't think it will be that bad.

Tomorrow from 10 AM to 2 PM the track and pit will be open to practice. I really want to check that out before I go sightseeing with Phillip. Well, gotta run and save my battery while I look for the right adapter. Plenty more to come. Thank you all for your support!! Bubba

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