I thought I’d dedicate my last blog entry to Bruins in Beijing to actually be about Bruins IN Beijing.
In mid June the Alumni Association held a reception to welcome Chancellor Block to Beijing. I was stoked to have UCLA come to me. Upon meeting Chancellor Block and shaking his hand, he paid me a compliment and said I had a very good American accent. I respectfully told him that I am American.
After that event, it led to an invitation to contribute to the Bruins in Beijing blog.
During these Olympics, it’s been a windfall of Bruins traveling to Beijing. Besides Bruin athletes and coaches, there were several Bruins in town working behind the scenes.
My friend Shira Andron volunteered for the US Olympic Committee working in their Press Office. My friend Danny Harrington worked for NBC on their Stat Crew for Indoor Volleyball. Danny is really an Aztec but has worked at UCLA for 10 years so he’s got enough Bruin blood in him now. The three of us worked together in the Athletic Department several years ago.
I took pleasure in showing them the UCLA store at the Ginza Mall in Dongzhimen. There are several UCLA stores throughout Beijing. It is higher-end clothes that are not available in Ackerman. The clothes are more like business casual / LL Bean rather than Bearwear /Rose Bowl wear. No knockoff’s here. It was all authentic stuff.
I also met up with my friend Bruce Tenen. He is another hard-core, die-hard Bruin with two degrees from the school. He’s worked every Olympics since the LA Games. We went to the baseball game together when USA lost to Cuba 10-2.
I also met up with Bryon Davis. He was an All-American swimmer UCLA back when we used to have a men’s swim team. He was traveling to Beijing for work and not specifically for the Games. I found out he was traveling to Beijing because of Facebook! We are always connected by the Olympics. I had also met up with Byron in Sydney during the Olympics as his wife Annett Davis competed in beach volleyball.
Lastly, I had dinner with the Raney family. They were introduced to me by Lily Tsau, manager from the Alumni Association. I met them at Ritan Park as I wanted to show them one of Beijing’s charming parks. I easily recognized them as they were showing their Bruin spirit and sporting some Bearwear. It was a nice evening of conversation about their adventures in Beijing as well as the upcoming UCLA football and basketball seasons.
There were 39 Bruins who participated in the Games as coaches and athletes winning a total of 15 medals. I am proud of the fact that my alma mater had a strong presence in these Games. On a personal level, I am more pleased to have the personal connections.
This will probably sound like I am delivering a canned message from the Alumni Association but indeed, being an alumnae (I’m never too sure if I use the feminine/masculine/plural form of alumna properly) of UCLA provides for a lifetime connection with old and new friends whether on home soil or abroad.
Now that the Games are over, I am looking forward to the start of the football season to satisfy my Sports Fix. Bring on the Volunteers!!
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I really love the American accent. I live in sydney. In australia you can figure out the american accent at pin point. But i think it is very complex probably there are 10's of accents under
American accent itself.