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TBT: 5 Years Ago Today I Tried to Sneak Into the Opening Ceremonies at the Beijing Olympics

Aug 8, 2013, 4:28 PM EDT

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My favorite shot from the trip. The Water Cube where Michael Phelps dominated.

Okay, so that title may be slightly misleading. We planned on trying to sneak in (or at the very least get remotely close) to the Birds Nest in Beijing, China for the Opening Ceremonies of the 2008 Summer Olympics. But truth be told the security was so damn intense that we couldn’t even get within blocks of the venue — like 10-15 blocks. We did “try” to get close for about two hours but ended up giving up and watching the opening ceremonies on a giant projector at some local bar.

The city was on lockdown. It was an insane experience.

But I was in China five years ago today and thought I’d share some photos from that amazing two week trip. I saw Yao Ming play with the China team. I saw Kobe Bryant and the American squad win on their way to gold. I saw Usain Bolt run. I saw Michael Phelps swim. I saw the U.S. win gold in beach volleyball. I saw whatever you call that weird ballet-like gymnastics event. I was chilling outside the Birds Nest for the closing ceremonies and could hear Jimmy Page do his guitar solo.

I saw so much. I ate some weird stuff. I walked on the Great Wall. It was amazing.

Here are some photos I took.

  1. Joe Kelly - Aug 8, 2013 at 4:56 PM

    Wow Rickey, hard to believe it’s been 5 years! I remember texting you from Washington DC wondering if you would get it half way around. Sure enough…!

    Reply
  2. Barry O. - Aug 8, 2013 at 5:34 PM

    Great timing with the post. I was just thinking today that we need to be more like China.

    Reply
  3. kai - Aug 8, 2013 at 8:03 PM

    What did you think of Beijing? They did a hell of a job with the city, even though a lot of the venues aren’t really in use anymore. My sister worked it, but didn’t make the opening ceremonies, just the closing. I missed it by a few months; left China in May of 2008.

    Reply
    • Enrico Campitelli Jr. - Aug 9, 2013 at 9:00 AM

      I had nothing but positive experiences in Beijing. Granted, I don’t think I got the real Beijing experience. It was totally different being there during the Olympics, I am guessing.

      Reply
  4. Trey - Aug 8, 2013 at 8:27 PM

    You mean you weren’t at Phish in Walnut Creek ?

    Reply
  5. willh888 - Aug 9, 2013 at 8:24 AM

    Tsingtao aint a bad rager.

    Sounds like a fine summer followed by a better fall

    Reply

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