Saturday, October 10, 2009

Sunday #2

My home away from home - Novotel Olympic Park

Another very nice day out this morning with temps in the low 60s. Though the Opening Ceremonies are tonight, activities are going on everywhere. I walked over to the track and the M65 group was warming up to vault. They have a nice atmosphere with music playing over the stadium speakers with announcements breaking in. I have questions remaining but I'll get those when I meet Tom Rausher over later for the W50+ group. We want to watch Phil Racshker and get the lowdown on how the vault is run.

What I did see when I went down there was that there is a metric measuring tape on the left side of the runway. I'm guessing they will allow us an English one on the right but I've got my conversions in my head anyway. They provide runway markers so you cannot use your own or put tape on the runway. They have a box of these markers and I haven't decided if you get to pick your own or if they assign them to you. In either case, they all look somewhat similar so I can see confusion coming for many. Most right handed vaulters have their marks on the left side of the runway, and since each vaulter is allowed two markers you can imagine the line up of these funky markers. "Funky" you say? These markers are wooden with square bottoms and what is built up above the base to a height of maybe 4" looks like tinker toys. Just a rambling of attached other wooden pieces, some with color and some not. Fortunately for me, since I've had two Achilles surgeries, I start on my right foot so had I been jumping this morning I would have been the only markers on the right side of the runway. In either case I have a very good feeling that I will decorate my marker with bright blue and orange duct tape.

Other questions are when and where do you check in to get your number? I saw they have a bungee up for warm up so probably that means no crossbars. The big question for me is will I get a run through before I start jumping if I've had to sit around for an hour plus waiting for the bar to get to my starting height. I figure I'll find that out today as there should be plenty of girls in the field so someone will have to wait around to start jumping.

I finally broke down and got some Australian money. I have just been using my debit card but I've located a convenience store and a few other places to make minor purchases of fruit, Power Bars, drinks, etc. The AU dollar is worth only slightly less than the US dollar. For example, I got US $40 changed and after the exchange fee I still got AU $41.58. No wonder the hotel people like being tipped with American dollars.

WAIT - I'm sitting in my room and I just heard an announcement at the track that the pole vault bar is going to ___ height with two vaulters remaining. You've gotta be kidding - play by play from my room? I can also hear when the starting gun goes off. I'm on the 8th floor with the windows closed. The track is about 600m away. Gotta love the view. I can even see the vaulters vault. You're right Nancy - I should have brought the binocs!

I haven't given my impression of the event and people yet so I thought I would weigh in. In an event this size there will always be issues but from the deluge of credentialing lines on day one to be almost none on day two, you can tell these people come up with solutions fast. I have yet to meet a person who was not overly helpful and friendly. They seem to take it personally if they feel like they are failing you, which I have rarely seen before. It's people like this, with winning attitudes that I am always going to give the benefit of the doubt. I've yet to see someone angry or even act frustrated. They just calmly address the complaint and make every effort to immediately solve it. I've read on Ken's blog about some miscues but I'm not seeing them. I'm sure they are there but I'm also sure they will be soon resolved. Love this country and the people!!

I'm hanging out in my room waiting to hear from Alan about lunch. I see we are having a little rain shower all of the sudden but the skies are pretty blue around it. Hopefully it will clear completely soon. Actually in the time it took me to come downstairs to post this, the sun is back out.

I am going to get in another longstrecth this afternoon after we watch the girls. Thanks again for being here everyone!! More later. Bubba

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