Wednesday, August 12
PUBLISHED: 18:00 12 August 2008 | UPDATED: 16:26 05 May 2010
Today the jet lag really hit me and I woke at 2am. I treated myself by watching some of the Games on the television then tried to get a little more sleep. My first full day in Beijing has brought some real surprises. Unexpectedly I had an opportunity to
Today the jet lag really hit me and I woke at 2am. I treated myself by watching some of the Games on the television then tried to get a little more sleep.
My first full day in Beijing has brought some real surprises. Unexpectedly I had an opportunity to visit the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square. They are both immense places. The Forbidden City took one million people 14 years to build. What an extraordinary change of pace when you compare that to the Olympic Park build.
Tiananmen Square is said to be the largest city square in the world at 500m x 880m, with Chairman Mao firmly placed in the middle. It's covered with Olympic bunting and amazing flower arrangements; it's truly a sight to behold.
Then I got the chance to visit Team GB's lodge where the athletes meet their families and celebrate or commiserate, depending on how they've done in their event. Strictly no photos, unfortunately, but it was great to be where our Olympians come to relax.
Just across the road I had my first view of the Birds Nest Stadium and the rest of the Olympic Park. You can see the Olympic flame burning brightly although the day returned to its usual misty humidity, and wow is it hot!
Tonight I have an invitation from what I hope may be a possible Pre Games Training Camp connection. Tomorrow is the official launch of what Hertfordshire has to offer Olympic and Paralympic teams in terms of training facilities for the London 2012 Games. We can't wait to show off our fabulous county. This will be at the Ambassador's residence, and opened by Tessa Jowell, Seb Coe and Colin Moynihan. Watch this space!