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« A Medley of First Impressions Just Hanging out »
Exclamation Point Moments
Posted 10/08/2008 @ 1 :51 PM

Hi everyone,

2008_08_10_olympicceremony_blogThe most impressive thing has been meeting the USA basketball dream team. I love basketball – if I have time I always watch the NBA. (I used to play a little bit in the school team just for fun, but once I was invited to the National Junior Team.)

So back to the story... we had dinner in the dining hall together with my coach. And suddenly we see some athletes running with cameras. We were wondering what was happening, then I turned my head and I saw Kobe Bryant !!!!!!

He was walking to the table with some food from McDonald's. Actually all of them were eating McDonald's. :-)

After I saw Lebron James and other players too. It was something unbelievable!!!!!

So many athletes were taking pictures of them while they eat, can you imagine what happened when they finished with their food !!!!!!!!

I have to say they were very nice to everyone. I respect them even more after that. At that moment I realize how popular they are !!! They are real stars !!!!

On to the opening ceremony!!!!!! I have been waiting for this day for all my life. Even now when I'm writing, I feel very emotional. As a little child I watched some of the opening ceremonies on TV, and now I can step out on the field myself for the first time in my life. I will never forget this day. It is so special.

As you all know it started at 08.08.08.  (8pm, 8 min !!!) But we started much earlier.

Every country got their number according to the Chinese alphabet so Uzbekistan got No. 35, which means we are going 35th in the parade.

We left the athletes village around 6 pm and we were waiting in order almost two hours in a very nice gymnasium.

I looked around and I saw the Ukrainian team next to us, and the Belarussian team just opposite. And of course I know the tennis players from there. We all found each other :-) There were the Bondarenko sisters, Tatiana Perebiynis, Mariya Koryttseva from the Ukraine and Darya Kustova, Tatiana Poutchek, Victoria Azarenka and Olga Govortsova from Belarus. So we all started to take pictures, exchanging pins and just walking around the place. We all enjoyed the moment so much.

Around 9 pm, they started to call the countries and we left the place to go to the main stadium. We were going very slowly taking pictures and videos. I think it took us more than an hour to arrive at the main gate.

And finally we were there !!!!!!!!!!!! I turned back to my coach and I just smiled. My heart started to beat very fast, and I forgot that I was tired and sweating so much.

They say the name of our country and we step out in the field. IT’S AMAZING!!!!! We all had little flags in our hands and waved to all the people there. After that we came closer to the stand where our President Islam Karimov was sitting. He stood up and we waved.

We made one big round and we got to our place on the field.

Imagine – we were No. 35 and in total there were 206 countries. So we had a very, very long wait. Everyone was very tired and soon we all sat down on the ground and were watching everything on the big screen.

This is the moment when the whole world comes together. All the athletes just mix and sat down together no matter which nationality, race, religion.

I don't think I can find right words to describe the Olympic fire ceremony. I thought the torch bearer was just going to go and fire it up. But I was wrong. We all were wrong, he started to run. It was so high! All the athletes who still were sitting down all stood up. We all didn't believe what we saw at that moment !!!!

I forgot that I have so much pain in my legs. I forgot that we are here on the field for nearly four hours (seven hours with all other stuff). I forgot that I 'm so thirsty. I was just feeling so happy to be here to be part of something great.

My coach told me, "Thank you, Akgul, because of you I'm here too "

At night we came back to the village very late. We ate a little bit and I went to sleep.

You know the feeling when you remember something and smile in the darkness? I had this kind of smile on my face that night.

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very nice post from, to me, the most interesting player on the WTA tour, she deserves a lot more notice than she's been getting (next to none), but then Marion Bartoli didn't get any either until she beat Justine last year at the Wimbly go Akgul, you are my fave!!!!

Cool blog. It's nice to see it the Olympics through the eyes of a "normal" athlete rather than some superstar.

I can't even imagine what it must be like!! I'm so happy that you've had the chance to be part of this!! Good Luck!

Akgul Amanmuradova is an amzing story. To take it up at 18 and be 50th in the world, that is incredible

too bad, Akgul lost in the first round today to Sciavone, still i remain her fan, go to the above link for a very nice article on her and her coach...


Hey, Akgul. Nice post. Glad to see your vast improvement over the last two years. As I told you I'd do when I met you, I've been keeping an eye on your progress and I am happy to see your continued determination. Keep working on that monstrous serve of yours; it's your bread-and-butter shot. Sorry you didn't make it in Beijing, but there will be other opportunities.

Keep Smiling

Akgul did make it to Beijing but did not have the result she desired against Fran on Sunday. However, Akgul has improved tremendously in the last 2-3 years.

Excited about seeing Kobe ??

Kobe's a JERK. One of the most self-centered athletes of all time.

Do yourself a favor and stick to being impressed by people who win with class, elegance and humility.

Kobe is the Bomb!! Have you ever met Him? He came to my school in Los Angeles and did the NBA Read to Achieve Program. He spoke to nearly 3,000 children that day. Kobe and the NBA helped build our school a new library. That wasn't too selfish and the kids loved it. He helped turn many children onto reading. Don't be a hater and don't believe everything you hear about someone from the media. People are always jealous of the best though! If you don't have anything good to say then you shouldn't say anything at all.

Wow. Such a great post from Akgul. The girl impressed me some months ago, forgot what tournament that was but it was before the French Open this year. I think it was in Dubai or Doha? She was hitting those powerful CC forehand winners right about an inch or so just inside the corners. Too bad she lost on Sunday (per Master Ace's post).

Wow. Such a great post from Akgul. The girl impressed me some months ago, forgot what tournament that was but it was before the French Open this year. I think it was in Dubai or Doha? She was hitting those powerful CC forehand winners right about an inch or so just inside the corners. Too bad she lost on Sunday (per Master Ace's post).

Akgul is a breath of fresh air, at first glance due to her size and her male tennis attire, but more importantly due to her game-big serve, big forehand, hard flat 2hand backhand, nice touch around the net...i believe she can continue to climb up the rankings...

Yuck!!!!! Kobe Bryant?? Surely, such a tall, beautiful, and athletic woman can find someone better to use all of her exclamation points on.

And, where does it say that a tall, beautiful woman must confine herself to freakishly large basketball players with double-digit IQs? Male tennis players might be shorter than basketball players, but they're just as athletic and more handome to boot. If women were less shallow and did not judge men by their height, there would be a lot more happy marriages.

please, no more anti-Kobe diatribes, let's keep our eye on the ball and stick to tennis...

I have no desire whatsoever to meet Kobe Bryant.

As to your comments (Anthony), they are shortsighted.

Where do I begin? A person who has perpetually bad-mouthed teammates, coaches, management - cheated on his wife - these aren't media fabrications, they're Kobe's own actions and words.

As for your comment of not saying anything unless it's good. That's a typical view from someone educated in the sub-standard California school system. We live in a country where people have the right to say anything - whether someone else likes it or not. You're welcome to continue walking around in your flighty, brainwashed state of mind - missing out on 50% of the reality that is right in front of you.

I'm not jealous of Kobe, I could care less about his basketball skills. As a person, a human being - he's a jerk. No argument.

It's funny how codfish is trashing anthony so much about his supposed "sub-standard California" education. It's a good thing codfish doesn't even know how to use the expression 'couldn't care less' properly.

Woww - what an idiot.

The meaning of the expression applies in both the negative and the positive - something you would have realized if you had half a brain.

I'm a Technical Writer and a Copy Writer and hold three degrees - in English, Communications and a Masters in Technical Writing. If you want to discuss the use of language with me, please be correct.

codfish, i'm impressed that you hold three degrees, and i agree we all have a right to our opinions, but at the same time it's possible to express them without resorting to derogatory remarks towards those with whom we don't agree. You sound like an intelligent person but also a rather angry one, which is too bad, i hope and pray you get over it, all the best.

Not angry at all. I just have a low tolerance for people who interject a comment or an observation which happens to be incorrect.

My latest post isn't about 'opinion.' If you're going to critique, be correct. That's not anger - that's the standard.

If you'll care to note also, when I made my first post, I made my comments to Akgul Amanmuradova.

I WAS the initial person attacked by other bloggers. Going by the philosophy of yourself and Anthony, if no one liked what I had to say, they should have ignored it and moved on.

But, that didn't happen....

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