Two Days Left in Beijing, With Plenty of Action to Go
August 21, 2008 12:31 PM
I can’t believe that I only have two more days left in Beijing! The time has flown by so quickly. Maybe it’s because we’ve been working so hard, but it feels like I just arrived yesterday. Still, I miss my family so much that I’m also excited about getting home.
It rained very hard today in Beijing—of course, this would happen on the day that the women’s beach volleyball finals were taking place. The rain cleared in the afternoon, but returned right on time for Shaun and Amanda Beard to shoot standups for the show tonight.
When I woke up this morning, I thought to myself, "I really don’t want to go down to watch beach volleyball; it’s POURING!" But then I ran into Hoda Kotb from "Today" in the lobby (Al Roker wore his swimsuit to the game!), who convinced me that I couldn’t miss this gold-medal game. Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh playing China, defending their gold medal on the opponents' home turf.
Hoda is very convincing, so I put on my rain jacket, and off I went with Shaun Robinson, "Access" supervising producer Mike and our crew, Mike and Wally.
The rain didn’t let up the entire match. And the spectator seats certainly weren’t covered. It was a packed stadium of 12,000, all outfitted with umbrellas and rain slickers. Our Chinese hosts were so prepared, though: They were handing out ponchos to every attendee.
The match was very dramatic. The Chinese team was the last to defeat Kerri and Misty (who are now sitting on a 108-game winning streak) and they played a smart and strategic game. But the feeling of watching our Americans drop to their knees in joy after they won was worth the potential pneumonia!
It was a beautiful moment: The girls went around hugging EVERYone in the stadium. Kerri hugged her husband, and then her brother, and then her coach—and then the volunteers, and the dancer girls in bikinis, and everyone else! They were smiling ear-to-ear. I felt so happy to be present witnessing the moment.
Afterwards, Shaun talked with Kerri as she met up with her husband outside of the stadium. On the spot, when asked if they wanted to start a family, they both said, "Absolutely!" to us. That interview will be on "Access" tonight.
It’s a big night all around for women’s team sports. The U.S. women’s water polo team just barely missed the gold, but they got the silver. The U.S. women’s softball team is in the middle of their gold game with Japan, and U.S. women’s soccer is about to take on Brazil.
There is so much to do before I leave. I still haven’t been to the Great Wall yet (hopefully, a group of us from "Access" is going tomorrow). I have so many presents to buy still for folks back home. And I’ve barely taken any time to walk around the Olympic Green (although yesterday I did check out an amazing display of five of the terracotta warrior statues from the Qin Dynasty, at the Johnson & Johnson Olympic Pavilion).
Oh, and that thing called sleep—it can wait for when I’m back in Hollywood!