Hello Blue Demon Fans,
Well, where to start? This Olympic experience has already far exceeded the one we had in Athens, mainly because of the fact we were able to go to the Opening Ceremonies, but also because I have seen so many familiar faces already. Check out my photo album!
Now to opening ceremonies ... that night in and of itself will forever be one of the best Olympic moments for me, and for most of the team! We had the day off from practice - the only one we've had since reconvening - and the last one we will have between now and going home. I don't sleep in here, so I was up about 6 a.m. and waited until someone else in my apartment was up. The first up was (Jennie) Finch, so we sat and chatted for a bit, then decided to go grab breakfast.
After breakfast we decided to get a workout in, so with iPods in hand, we headed to the gym here in the village for some cardio and a light lift. It was nice to be productive on a day off even. After working out, we just roamed the village, and then hung out back at our place. (Crystl) Bustos is constantly doodling, while the other three of us just have random conversation. We had to be ready for the ceremony at 5:30, so we started the process of getting ready about 3 p.m. Because of the international differences in wall plugs and wattage, our team has already managed to fry two hair straighteners and a few hair dryers. For 15 of us, we had to share two dryers and one straightener in a matter of a few hours. Impossible? Never... we managed!
Our outfits were by Ralph Lauren, and I think they were one of the nicer ones we saw. The only issue was it was extremely hot out, so we were all sweating pretty badly once we were outside.
We were first taken to the Fencing Hall where we were to be addressed President Bush, and then each sport took their picture with him. His father also accompanied him, so we met both of them. I used my Texas connection to get personal photos with both of them.
At the same time, all the athletes were mingling, so we got to meet and take pictures with plenty of people. Both the men’s and women’s basketball teams were extremely kind to take pictures with everyone. While taking a picture with Jason Kidd, he asked me if I thought he could hit off me. After saying I thought he could try, he and Lebron (James) challenged Finch and I to a face off. We'll see if we ever get this debate settled!
I went and introduced myself to Coach Gail Goestenkors, who is now the head coach at Texas after an amazing career at Duke. I don't know why I was so nervous, but I was; I could hardly talk to her. I had always wanted to meet her once she was hired at Texas, but I never ran into her when I was in Austin. Maybe next time I see her I won't be so scared. I also met Coach K (Mike Krzyzewski), who’s the head coach of the men’s basketball team. It's so amazing to meet these athletes and coaches you see and read about all the time.
Once we wrapped up our visit with the President, our delegation was escorted to the waiting area until it was our turn to march out into the stadium. I sat with a few of the baseball players and chatted about different things. It's fun to hear how many of them actually watch when we play. Once it was time to march we all were filled with emotions. Walking through the tunnel to the stadium, all the athletes started chanting "U-S-A, U-S-A," which sent chills throughout my body. Knowing we are all here for one reason - and one reason only - just excites you!
More emotions set in once we were walking around the stadium. We kept finding American flags in the crowd and would get so excited! We waved at every flag we saw, regardless of the fact we didn't know the person waving it. There’s so much pride the comes with being part of Team USA!
Once the march was done, we all stood in the infield of the track to watch the ceremony. The torch lighting was my favorite part. We figured they would hoist the last torch-bearer up, but never did we imagine he would have to pretend run around the whole top of the stadium. He was incredible. Seeing the flame rocket around and up the torch was the best part, though. The Games officially being once the torch is lit, so we all beamed with excitement as soon as we saw the flame.
The day after the ceremony it was back to practice. We are practicing at noon everyday in order to mimic our game times and yesterday we had a surprise guest! (Well, not really a surprise since he asked the night before what time we practiced.) President Bush came to catch batting practice and wish us good luck. He really didn't know what he was getting into though.
Coach Candrea called the team together to talk with President Bush, and Laura Berg, who is our prankster, got the President with one of her classic pranks. She hugged him, and when she did, she left a chalk handprint on his back. We all got a laugh out of this since she does it almost daily to someone. Once we let him in on the joke, he laughed, too, and even took a picture with her so you can see his hand print. She claims she is now going out on top and retiring from pranking! That's doubtful though! Check out the video of President Bush at practice.
We had a team press conference last night, which went well. Today everyone has been getting calls and texts from their family saying they have arrived here in China. Not only are we glad they are safely here, but it means games are right around the corner. In other news... my room got our TV today, so we can now watch all the events going on. Before we had to sneak into our coaches' common room to catch anything.
Oh, I visited Beijing Normal University, where the USA has set up alternate training spots for us. Also they have an amazing chef there that is cooking great food daily. Some of the team went the other night, but most of us took advantage of the opportunity to get out today. We can also see massage therapists and chiropractors there. We enjoy getting out of the village sometimes.
Only one more day of practice before we start! I can't believe it's almost here. We have waited for so long for this time to arrive. I know I’m ready, and I feel as if the team is more ready than ever. Each day that passes, more memories are made, and this team is ready to leave our legacy here in China.
I'll write again soon! Think good thoughts... Go Red, White and Blue!
March 12 - Florida Fun
March 18 - California Dreamin
March 25 - Easter with team USA
April 7 - Working with my Blue Demons
April 11 - I love BBQ
April 23 - Having Fun on the Ranch
April 30 - Big Home Weekend
May 19 - Blue Demon Season is Over
June 14 - Crazy Summer
July 10 - July 4th in NYC
July 29 - Yellowstone
July 30 - Relaxing at home in Houston
Aug. 6 - Arriving in Beijing
Mutli Media and Other Links
Cat's Mom's Blog - Bejing Bound
Softball superstar: Team USA has target on back (NBCOlympics.com)
Lopez Siblings Teach Osterman Taekwondo (KPRC 2 - Houston, Texas)
BodyByMilk.com: Cat and Nine other Olympic Athletes Prepare for the Olympics
Cut the Cord: Cat getting ready for a flight (NBCOlympics.com)
For Osterman, it’s coach Cat after Olympic Games (Houston Chronicle)
Walk Like An Olympian: 10 tips on making the team from Beijing-bound athletes (ElleGirl)
Team USA Well Wishes from Fans Around the World (USA Softball)
Catching up with Cat Osterman (News 8 Austin)
Meet Team USA (SI.com)
Made in China (Time Record News - Wichita Falls Online)
Olympic Game Recaps & Schedules
Aug. 11 - USA 11, Venezuela 0 | Recap | Watch - Rewind (NBCOlympic.com)
August 12 - USA 3, Australia 0 | Recap | Watch- Rewind (NBCOlympics.com)
Aug. 13 - USA vs. Canada | 11 p.m. (CST) | Live-CNBC