Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
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Loughborough University

Beijing Olympics 2008

Loughborough University's Beijing Blog

Saturday, 16 August 2008

Loughborough Alum at Hockey

"Loughborough is for Life" more Loughborough Alum including Hockey Player, Adam Harper meet outside the hockey ground just before GB play South Africa

We visited the Olympic Hockey Stadium this evening. Had the usual poor spectator experience we are now geting used to here with access to the stadium blocked for taxis, poor directions and everyone expected to use one single entry point (which is usually miles from the right place). The organisers don't seem to want to have to cope with multiple entries to each park. Transport is also a problem, either in getting close but also leaving events. Instead of people being able to leave from all points of a stadium they all leave from a single point which swamps the transport.

One last gripe before moving on to the more positive! The concessions for food and drink and anything else are really poor. Lack of variety of food and drinks, very few places to buy and consequently long long queues at every selling point.

However after all these obstacles have been negotiated the stadiums themselves are great. Hockey last night appears to be a temporary structure but well designed and great views all round. Great to see the large number of orange-clad Dutch supporters who are really here to have a good time;they add a real noise and fun level even though their team was not playing. Same goes for the Aussies. It was great to have yet another group see the Loughborough logo and come up and introduce themselves. The guys in the picture had been travelling throughout Asia, including Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam before arriving in Beijing. They will have enjoyed ,like us, watching GB beat South Africa 2-0 in the preliminaries - although they did make hard work of it.
It was a particularly satisfying win because our meeting after the game was with my opposite number from Stellenbosch University, Kelly Fairweather. It was good to see Kelly again, he was instrumental in helping to set up the warm-weather training for our track and field squad earlier this year and we are in the final stages of agreeing a staff and student exchange programme.
Earlier in the day I visted "Japan House" with Tracy Croft (EMDA) to meet with our friends from the Japanese Olympic Committee. Their home is in a hotel not far from the famous Silk Market and Beijing Railway station. It has all the comforts of home for their sponsors, staff, athletes, coaches and media. Very similar to Canada House which is near the Crown Plaza hotel.

Masa, Ya-ya, Chris and Tracy at Japan House

The main hospitality room at Japan House
Loughborough University - Beijing 2008

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