We made it to the USA House last night and, unlike the Russians, they were welcoming, friendly and extremely encouraging of us to lay down our Visa cards and buy their crap. So I obliged.
Polo Ralph Lauren is a major sponsor of the US team this year - they did the opening ceremony outfits and then a bunch of the t-shirts. Nike did most of the athletic gear that you see, like the wind breakers they wear on the medal stand. For some reason I always pronounce Ralph Lauren like I'm foreign. I don't say 'Lauren' like the name. I say 'Lo-wren' like a wanker.
And I don't think I can stop!
The USA House was gorgeous. It was at the back of a restaurant called Buffalo something so I was expecting "China-Goes-Wild-West" decor but instead it was this really beautiful sort of LA-chic, lounge style place. The place was surrounded by a faux-river and you had to cross a bridge to get over it - always a big fan of having to cross a bridge to get to dinner, makes it feel like I worked to get there - but then inside, the place looked like what you'd imagine Monte Carlo to look like! Fountains everywhere, music you'd find in a yoga class, cool lighting. Very serene.
Bart Connor and Nadia Comaneci were there with their son Dylan - Yay!! gymnastics royalty and their offspring!
On our way there we passed a dance party for old folks. There are two giant common areas in front of the Workers Stadium and on both sides there were a bunch of people gathered around boomboxes doing what looked like country square dancing. But without the square. Actually, one side was a little bit country, the other side was a little bit rock and roll. Just like the Osmonds.
There was an article that popped up on the AP wires this morning that was a jolt. It's so easy to forget where we even are since most of this month has been experienced in Olympic land - not beijing land.... two VERY different places.
There's always a battle of medal count between the countries and right now America is winning with most total medals. But China is SMOKING us in gold. And about to catch up in total medals. CCTV, the govt's national tv stations in China, shows this chart all the time, but they always have China at top. Which made sense to me since they have double the gold medals that we do. Ha - just saw NBC's medal count graphic and oh hey - it's the US on top! Hilarious.
There is a Chinese track and field athlete named Qi Haifeng who has a giant mole on his cheek and 8-9 black hairs growing out of it. Long hairs. Long bushy hairs that are visible when he runs. Hello - how are those aerodynamic? And um, how do you expect to get a contract with Li Ning when you have a troll doll's head growing out of your face?
One of the synchronized swimming teams got their suits banned because they had little light up lights embedded into their fabric or something. They decided that the lights were "accessories" and they couldn't use them. Hmm... I would think that if you're going to make a stink about a synchro swimming outfit, how about throw a fit about the fact that their entire butt is hanging out. Seriously - can they cut those things any higher??? They're practically wearing thongs. The prude in me says "Good gracious!" The slightly crasser version of that prude in me says "slutty whores."