Sep 10, 2008

Paralympics

Thanks to some special inside connections (my GF snagged some tickets from work), I got to see some of the Paralympics events. Overall, it's a different feel than the Olympic events. I think the best way to describe it is that at the Olympics, you're cheering for countries and for the team, but in the Paralympics, people are cheering more for peoples' individual achievement, rather than for countries.

Here's some 400 m wheelchair racing in the Bird's Nest during the rain:




This was my third time in the Bird's Nest recently, and I was sitting close enough to get a close up view of those flag poles. You noticed how during the Olympic opening ceremony when they raised the flag, it just hung there, lifelessly, and then at the top of the pole it magically started blowing as if there was a hurricane force wind? With my binoculars I was able to see the details of the bulb at the top of the flag poles. There's some vertical slits that air blows out of so the flags flap in the breeze during the medal ceremonies. Very clever.

During the medal ceremony, flags a-flappin':




As the flags are lowered, no more flapping:




Here's a panorama inside the Water Cube that I stitched together:




Start of a backstroke race:




View across the pool to the media section. As big as this place looks from the outside, there's really not that many seats available. I can understand now why it was nearly impossible to get in to see the Olympic swimming events.




Diving platform:




The ceiling of the Water Cube:

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