I don't know how many of you get emails from David Steddall, so I thought it would be cool to post his emails here that give a first hand report of what is going on with the Olympics. David is there as part of the Olympic staff that is traveling with some of the athletes... he even promises some pics soon!
Dear Friends and Family,
Hi, I trust all is well. As you can guess I am getting ready to leave on Monday 4th Aug, for my 22 days at the Beijing Olympics, as always, God has blessed me greatly, with a VIP position (Olympic Attaché) on the National Olympic Committee Team for Sri Lanka.
The latest news is that Beijing will hold another dress rehearsal for the opening ceremony tomorrow (Sat 2nd) and then the final full dress rehearsal next Tuesday night (5th), which hopefully I can get a sneak preview off.... ! Who knows even a photo or two, but not to show until after the big night, don't want to spoil the surprise.
Once I arrive, I will start my regular newsletters to you all, giving insights and photo's not normal shown in the press.........
As you well expect, I am more than a little excited. I can already feel the excitement in China, the day after I received my Olympic ID card (which can also be used as a China entry visa) as I crossed over into Zhuhai, the immigration office was so excited, as I was the first person to use this card at this entry point, he took my ID card, stood up and waved it as he shouted to another officer, saying "I got the first one" he was very proud of that.... bless him. I suddenly became the center of attraction, with several immigration officer all wanting to see and hold it....
The Beijing Olympics really is the "Pride of the Nation" so how can I not look forward to a wonderful time full of exciting events and experiences.
I can not take you with me, but at least I will try to share what I can, as quick as I can...
Our team is quite small just 8 athletes, who will compete in 6 sports, we have 1 each in Boxing under 51 kgs, Shooting, men 50m pistol, a lady in Badminton, Weightlifting men 62 kgs class, plus two each in Swimming and Athletics.
We will have our best medal prospect Miss Susanthika Jayasinghe, carrying the Sri Lankan national flag into the Birdsnest on the 8th Aug. She is ranked 18th in the world for the 100m, and 20th for the 200m.
She was brought up in a very poor family in a small village, 60 klms from the Capital (Colombo) where a pair of running shoes cost more than the average month's wage.
Please remember if you can dream it, you can do it !
Sri Lanka NOC