We started day three at the Olympics by ditching the parents at Westfield's shopping center while we (the Champion of Play kids -- thank you, McDonalds!) went to the Olympic Village.
OK, I know you want to know what it was like, and the answer is that is was overwhelming!
There are all the best Olympic athletes from around the world in one place. We saw many international competitors. My biggest "find" of the day was Pia Sundhage. Who is that, you ask? She's the women's soccer gold medal coach for the USA! Yeah, I was a bit excited. Enough to get into her sight, ask for an autograph, and have my picture taken with her. She says that she looks for players that get a lot of touches on the ball and her players have to have a good personality!
We met back up with the parents and went to watch a game of indoor volleyball. It was Korea vs. Japan. Japan won, and it was so exciting to see the cheering of the fans and to watch the crowd get so into it. Even people like me that know little about volleyball or didn't have a
home team competing jumped right into it. The atmosphere at the Olympics is just so different.
The Olympics have been amazing to watch this year for me. I was very into it while I was still at home, but being here and having thousands of fans cheering with you is just indescribable. The cheers, the celebration, and the friendship -- it is not like real life, that is for sure. It is sad, though -- so many people from all over the world are here for the Olympics in London and they are all getting along, cheering and hooting for each other. Why is it not always like this? It doesn't matter if you're from Canada or Germany or the USA -- everyone cheers for the athletes. But if you're from the UK, you're going to get wild crazy cheers!
From there, we went to lunch at the USA House. This is where all of the athletes and their families are invited to come for hospitality. Both current athletes and former athletes go there. It was great, we had a fun lunch and Julie Foudy was there eating with us with her
husband and her two kids! After lunch, we were brought into a press conference room. In the presentation, Julie Foudy, along with Trey Hardee (silver medal decathlete) and Marlen Esparza (bronze medal women's boxing), handed out medals to all of the Champions of Play
participants. Then we had the chance to visit with them, get signatures and pictures. After this, my mom and I went into the USA shop. It was really the first place in London that sold USA stuff. My mom set me up with an awesome USA medal ceremony jacket (the black
one!) and we helped Michele Kwan pick out a T-shirt for her niece! Of course, I got her autograph and picture.
Then we went to the Duck Tour (I warned you that we had a crazy busy day!). The tour is on an old WWII "duck." It is able to drive on the ground like any other car or truck, but it is also able to go into the water and still work -- no sinking to the bottom of the Thames! Then we were supposed to go to the Rainforest Cafe but they didn't have power, so we went to a pub called The Sherlock Holmes. I had fish and chips! It was delicious. After that, it was back to the hotel and a bunch of us all hung out playing in the "Champions play room," which was really fun. We played Foosball, played with the huge bean bags, played some games and exchanged contact information with each other.
I'm so sad that it is all coming to an end. Tomorrow, most of my new friends leave London. My mom and I are staying on for a few more days, but it just won't be the same without all of the wonderful things planned for us.
I again need to send out a huge thank you to McDonald's, Century Council and Julie Foudy and JFSLA. Thank you all so much -- this has truly been a once in a lifetime experience, or as my new friend Jane says, "Brilliant!"