Day #3

Got up at 8 – not on purpose but because of my cough (went to bed at 3). I’ve had a cough for a few weeks now and I’m sure that standing in cold rain yesterday didn’t help.  A friend encouraged me to see a Dr.  They have one at the MPC… So walked in and after 10 minutes saw someone from the medical staff.  He said I have a minor chest infection – but I have a history of pneumonia – I’ve had it three times I think.  So he prescribed me some antibiotics.  So hopefully I’ll get better.

Afterwards headed up to the USOC to pick up a swim ticket for tomorrow and as I was leaving I saw Robert Gauthier in the LA Times office right next door to the USOC – he invited me in – swanky office… look at the nice view they have!:

As I was walking to the bus to head to gymnastics I ran into John Leyba – he had to run into the MPC – when I got to the bus stop I told him he had 25 minutes – and asked him if he could pick me up something to eat – he did – so nice.  Back to getting to events ridiculously early – got there 2 1/2 hours early – but there were already a ton of people there.  Set up computer and figured out where the shooting spots were at (that’s Leyba’s thumb – not mine) – headed out about an hour and 15 minutes ahead of time.  We were early:

Lots of US photographers there today for the Men’s Gymnastics team final.  Arena was packed – so that was cool to see.  But it was painful to watch… it seemed like they started out really flat – maybe nerves – kinda sucks that they were ahead in prelims but then everyone starts at zero for the finals.  Not sure they could have beat China but they could easily have medaled – but a couple dudes kinda screwed up on the first three events and then they kinda gave up… but then the last two events they did awesome and only lost out to a medal by like two points.  Brian Peterson and Smily Pool chatting beforehand:

I’ve only shot gymnastics a few times and every time in the past I shot it from the stands… I think cause it was ticketed – this time it wasn’t so I shot it from the ground.  It’s kinda a little dance because there were four groups competing – two countries per group.  So the US was pair with Russia, China was paired with Japan and the UK was paired with France.  So when they changed apparatuses all of the journalists covering those countries would jockey to new positions in front of the apparatus their country was at.  For the US it was floor, pommel horse, rings, vault, parallel bars and then high bar.  It was a little dicy down there and tomorrow night will be much worse with the Women – but we could move around OK… some areas were a little narrow – following Brian through a narrow area behind one of the shooting areas – he is tall.  :

Like I said, saw lots of US photographers there – it was kinda funny cause I saw Andrew Gombert – from EPA and he said he read my blog!  Hi Andrew – ha!  I think I forgot to mention seeing him and his wife at the Nikon party – well I did.

Nice sky while leaving gymnastics (at the North Greenwich Arena – usually known as the O2):

Needed to head to the Horse Guards Parade complex where beach volleyball is being held.  Left right after gymnastics – since the US didn’t medal I skipped the medal ceremony – grabbed a bus with Wally back to the MPC.  I should have taken the subway.  So I get to the stop where the bus is supposed to pick up and I ask two different “helpers” if I’m at the right place – they say yes just wait.  So I wait – like 30 minutes – no bus.  Then finally some nice guy comes up and says – oh yea that bus stops running once the competition starts!  What?  Really?  Whoever set this bus system up obviously does not know how journalists work.  There were like five matches going on – different countries in each match – the US is in the last one – so most journalists would show up for the country they are covering – not for the hole thing.  oh well  So ended up taking a bus to a stop kinda nearby – and from there a 10 minute walk to the Tube and three stops later got off at Picadelly Circle stop.  From there another 15 minute walk to the gate.

Smiley said he has given up on buses and will just takes the Tube.  I had a good experience yesterday with the buses – but not so much today.

Figured out where I was going via the iPhone… gps is a wonderful thing… I keep getting behind really stinky people and there is no reason for it because it is not hot.  Though sometimes I keep sniffing myself wondering if that is me – but I’m pretty sure it’s not.  It was a nice a cool 60ish degrees today so people shouldn’t be sweating.

Public service announcement:  while I was at the pharmacy I saw an energy bar – thought I’d try it.  It was the most vile, gross thing I have ever, ever tasted in my life – do – not – buy – I took a nibble and the after taste, the horrible after taste, stayed with me for like an hour:

Beach volleyball is really the weirdest venue – people are all dancing and they have music almost constantly blaring.  They have two announcers – apparently one is famous – Jed was telling me – maybe an X-Factor winner (which I have never watched)

 Afterwards Jed Jacobsohn and I walked out (he’s got a blog:  http://jedjacobsohn.wordpress.com/ ) Got on a Tube – a nice lady with a large group of dudes saw my badge and we chatted about the Olympics for bit – she was from Atlanta – helped me figure out what Tube I was on.

I had to be very conscious of time because the Tube/DLR stops running around 2 am – and I don’t want to be caught out again… I cut it a little close – only two trains left!

Gymnastics story by Elliott Almond with my pix

Pano of beach volley ball – I wanted to do one from the top cause you can see cool old buildings in background – but due to the bus mishaps I got there and it was too dark… so just did one from the ground.

There is supposed to be a story with beach volleyball – but I can’t find it… here are a couple of my favorite pix from tonight – actually just one:

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