Meeting the Bushes
August 11, 2008 | 2:38 PMNatalie Golda
Opening Ceremonies were definitely memorable! According to the Chinese alphabet, we were around 140 out of more than 200 countries, so we had to wait in our "holding tank" for quite some time. Before moving into the gym to be staged for our entrance, we had the awesome opportunity to meet the President, the First Lady, and the former President [George H. Bush] of the United States. We got some great pictures with the President and some of the NBA stars. Once we were in the gym, we tried to stay cool in our blazers and long sleeved shirts, but were pretty unsuccessful. It was hot.
Walking into the stadium is one of the most amazing things you could ever do. Waving at the American flags, seeing the President in the stands, and watching my fellow athletes get excited was unbelievable. There were other athletes around me jumping around and saying, "How COOL is this?" I remembered walking in Athens and having every emotion hit me all at once - I looked like a blubbering fool.
Today [Monday] we play China, and we're excited to finally get the show on the road. The Chinese will be a tough opponent - playing at home in the opening game.
Wish us luck!
Vanessa Alva says:
That's so awesome Natalie! BIG congrats to you. Good luck out there.
About this blog
A blog by and about UCLA athletes, coaches, students and alumni at the Beijing Olympics
Julie, who works with the media in Beijing, prepared for her third Olympics by studying Mandarin for two years.
Jessica competes in the hammer throw for the U.S. Olympic team.
Andrea, Pac-10 Player of the Year in 2006, plays on the U.S. Olympic softball team.
Jillian, head coach at UCLA, is an assistant coach for the U.S. women's soccer team.
Natalie, a UCLA alum, is a member of the U.S. water polo team.
Kimberly, UCLA '05, moved to Beijing on a whim two years ago and stayed for the Olympics.
Kara, a student at UCLA, is a member of Canada's Olympic soccer team.
Nicolette swims the breaststroke for the Singapore Olympic team.
Liz is a senior media relations officer at UCLA. She is happy to be at home during the Olympics.
Kevin is director of the UCLA Newsroom. He wishes he were in Beijing.