August 18, 2008 | 11:25 AMJillian Ellis
The village is impressive! The beautiful landscaping and design is the perfect backdrop to the array of people walking around in all their colorful warm-ups. So many nationalities, languages, and sports are represented in the village. Hanging from the balconies of the apartment buildings are the flags of all the countries represented – on the long walk to the dining hall we try and guess which country. The village is pretty close to the “Bird’s Nest” stadium and the “Cube” so it has been fun to see those two venues up close.
Daily, there are over 16,000 people in the village. It is pretty spread out and easily takes 20mins to get from one side to the other. The building we are housed in is about 15mins from the dining hall, bus depot, and swimming pool. More and more athletes are buying bikes to get around. Our apartments are likes suites and they are pretty small to house seven people. As much as I like being in the village, it has been since college since I shared a room with two other people- so a LONG time!
I have seen two Bruins since I arrived in Beijing. I ran into our track coach Jeanette Bolden yesterday and water polo Olympian, Brandon Brooks. It was great to see them both and we caught up on our team’s schedules. Brandon has a big game today against Germany, so if it fits in our crazy pre-game schedule I am going to try and go and cheer him on!
We play Japan at 9pm tonight at the Worker’s Stadium. We played them in our qualifying round and they were a formidable opponent- very technical and extremely quick. This game decides if we play for a gold medal against the winner of the Germany/Brazil game on Thursday, so naturally we are all excited for the game to kickoff. It is a late game so we will spend the day relaxing and have lunch and a video meeting over at Beijing Normal University.
Jillian Ellis is an assistant coach with the U.S. women's soccer team.
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.