Saturday, September 13, 2008

No medals... pooh!

Ron before the Road Race

Well, it's over, and we have no medals to bring home this time. The road race was today, and it was weird... it was Ron's category (LC2- single leg amputees) all combined with the LC1 (mostly arm amputees) class and one of the milder CP classes. The race was fast fast fast with all three medalists being of the LC1 category. There were 6 strong legs on the medal stand!! Even Ron's main rivals (Jiri and Roberto) weren't in the top five. Oh well... today's race results aren't as hard to swallow as yesterday's were, to me at least. Now we can take Ron out on the town and go have some fun!

The winners of Ron's race

Yesterday was completely taken up by the time trial. The course (which was the same course as the road race today) was fabulous! There was a big grandstand area for the spectators (and today, we managed to talk our way into the Family section-- which we are of course, but we don't have "credentials"), and behind the road where the riding happens a lake, then a beautiful pagoda on a peninsula, then mountains in the distance. This was, by far, the most breathtaking race site I have ever seen... wish it could've been the site of better memories for us.

Today, we started the day by going to see Chairman Mao. Yes, he's dead, but embalmed and on display just north of Tiannamen Square. Kinda creepy, but free. We then were taken to the course by a car service we'd hired... loved our driver! He talked his way right up to the course practically, past a bunch of credential-checkers and Paralympic volunteers. He did so well for us that we have hired him for tomorrow take us out to the Great Wall and to pick up Ron on the way out of town.

Then was the race, and I've already talked all I want to about that.

On the way back, we asked Tan (our driver) to drop us off at the Olympic Green instead of the hotel, so of course he did. You couldn't actually get into the park area or anywhere near the Birds' Nest or Water Cube without an event ticket, but we got close enough to oooh and aaah over them and get some pictures.

The Birds' Nest Stadium

We taxied back to the hotel to change, and then walked to a restaurant we had previously spied across the street from Tiannamen Square... it was probably the best food we've had here! Well, it tied with the Peking Duck, and was cheaper!

So now that the races are over, I hope that we can get Ron out of the village to do some sightseeing. The Great Wall tomorrow will be a good start, and tomorrow night we have bought tickets to an acrobat show! We bought lots of tickets actually...nine of Ron's teammates/coaches/entourage wanted to go too! The hotel concierge must've thought we were crazy when we bought 13 tickets, but nah, she knows that already! We have kept the desk ladies quite busy with all our questions and need for translation!

Well, off to sleep... tomorrow will be a better day.

Oh, and here's another "cute baby" picture...