...seen the London 2012 Olympic Park site...
....met double Olympic medallist James Cracknell...
...and been to the BOA kit handout at the NEC in Birmingham – it’s been an amazing experience!
The best part was of course the trip to Beijing!
While I was in Beijing I wrote a diary of what we did, you can read this and see some pictures from Beijing below…
Diary entry 1, 22nd August 2008
We arrived in Beijing at 5.30am and were met by a McDonalds Champion Kids chaperone. After we collected our luggage we had a coach transfer to the hotel. I was really tired and struggled to stay awake. When we arrived at the hotel we had breakfast and I was mesmerised by the size of the hotel – it was huge!
We had a few hours to rest before the day's activities started so we had a sleep before we set off to visit the BOA House.
The coach picked us up about 1.20pm – it was really hot and the difference from England was amazing. On the coach we saw the Bird’s Nest stadium and the Water Cube – it was massive. At the BOA house we met some legendary athletes such as Denise Lewis, James Cracknell, David Emery and Beth Tweddle – it was great how friendly they all were.
Fortunately we were able to interview Beth. She was really interesting to speak to as she was in the GB team at the age of 12 and her brother was in the GB U21 hockey team. She says she will take each year as it comes in terms of 2012 but the first thing on her agenda is a holiday! The thing which most shocked me about Beth was her interest in the whole of the GB team – this was very much the same with all the other athletes as well.
In the evening McDonald’s opened the bowling alley at our hotel for a party. There was a buffet dinner and a star visit from Ronald McDonald, it really finished the day on a high. This is an absolutely unforgettable experience!
Diary entry 2, 23rd August 2008
Today we were lucky enough to go to the Olympic Village.
Every detail of the Athletes Village is designed to make the athletes feel at home, including the smallest detail from a post office to a red phone box outside the team GB athletes’ room. All the athletes are getting into the spirit of the games and enjoying themselves.
After the Athletes Village we went to the Olympic Green to have a McDonald’s – it was the biggest fast food restaurant I have ever seen, it was over two floors. From lunch we went to the Great Wall of China, which was steep and picturesque – what can you say, it was great! Jokes aside it was amazing. You see it in pictures but it really doesn’t give it the credit it deserves. It was such a beautiful day and the view was unbelievable.
Then we went to the USA House for a medal ceremony where we met some absolutely legendary athletes including Rebecca Adlington, Louis Smith, Kathryn Merry, Darren Campbell, Daly Thompson and Carl Lewis. I have never been so star-struck; being in a room with so many fantastic athletes, it was crazy.
Interviewing Carl Lewis:
In the evening McDonald’s gave us tickets to the Olympic Green so we could visit it at night, it was well worth it. It was spectacular – the stadiums were unforgettable, lighting up and changing colours. It was the little details which made the Bird’s Nest one of the most magnificent buildings in the world. The atmosphere was in a class of its own and everyone was buzzing!
This has been one of the greatest experiences of my life so far!!!
Diary entry 3, 24th August 2008
Today we went to see the Rhythmic Gymnastics which was really amazing. I thought it would be a bit boring but it was completely the opposite, it was spectacular. The Russians sealed their gold with an emphatic performance in the last round using three hoops and two clubs, but closely followed were China who were awarded their first medal in this breathtaking event. Belarus snatched fourth away from Italy who had a faultless second round performance.
After the Rhythmic Gymnastics we went to the Temple of Heaven, one of the most beautiful places in the world. The temple was set in tranquil gardens filled with Chinese people enjoying the peace doing Tai Chi and playing traditional games surrounded by trees.
Having a go at tradition kite flying...a bit like the Rhythmic Gymnastics?:
Then we went to the silk market and grabbed a few bargains, which was an experience to remember. We then went to a traditional Chinese restaurant where we had a feast fit for a king. It was a very interesting mixture of food and not like the Chinese food I have at home!
At the hotel we watched the Closing Ceremony on the big screen; it was truly spectacular.
I have had another great day and really do not want to leave tomorrow.
Diary entry 4, 25th & 26th August 2008
This morning we said our final goodbyes to all of the fellow McDonald’s Champion Kids and left for Beijing Zoo to see the Pandas. They were so cute.
After the zoo we left for Beijing airport. I was so sad to leave everyone after having made so many new friends and leaving such a great place. We took a connecting flight to Hong Kong which took around three hours and when we arrived we then swapped planes and were put in World Traveller Plus Class which was really comfy and a real luxury. We eventually touched down at London Heathrow at 4.45am and landed with a bump back in England.
The amazing, unbelievable, tremendous trip was over and what a trip it was!!!
Thank you McDonald’s!
...seen the London 2012 Olympic Park site...