Finally made it to Liuzhou

Hi again from the other side of the world! It was yet another LONG day of travel for us. Left the hotel in Beijing at 8:50, went through a long hassle at the airport with our baggage (a total of $800 in over-sized bag charges that the Chinese picked up), boarded the plane at 10:30, got off the plane in Liuzhou at 2:30, got our baggage and endured a long bus ride to our hotel (making a couple of stops on the way to drop off other passengers). Finally got to the hotel at about 5:00, quickly dumped our luggage and headed for the ski site. We originally were supposed to have a practice, but we figured with the late time that we wouldn’t. We were correct. We did, however, head to the ski site to check it out. The “competition venue” as they call it is going to be spectacular. I didn’t take pics of it today because lots of set up and construction were going on, but tomorrow and Wednesday it should be a sight to see and I’ll send pics. Along with our waterski competition, there are also F1 speed boat races and jet ski races. It’s a large water sports event and they’re expecting big crowds.

Tomorrow the tentative plan is to practice in the morning, then at 2:30 do a co-show type exhibition with the Chinese for the media. All sorts of media are showing up at 2:30 to publicize the event and we’re skiing a co-show with them to showcase it. Then we have the Opening Ceremonies Banquet which is supposed to be pretty cool. On Wednesday we have two competitions vs. the Chinese.

A fact about Liuzhou….it’s the #5 city in the world for “night viewing”….basically meaning how the city lights up at night. The top 4 are Las Vegas, Paris, New York, and Shanghai. We got a taste that tonight. Our hotel is on a strip of high rise buildings, filled with shops, restaurants, bars, and neon lights and laser lights everywhere. Think State St. with a Times Square flair.

Attached are some pics of our day. The first is tough to see, but it’s a main road, with one half of it covered in corn for miles. Our guide says they dry the corn on the road. Weird. Other pics are of the Liuzhou airport (amazingly small…only 1 baggage claim…basically a small building, and the city has 1.4 million people….not sure how that large of a city can have that small of an airport). There’s also a team pic of us on the stage at the show site. More show site and city life pictures to come in the next couple of days.

Now it’s off to 8+ hours of much needed sleep. We are all exhausted and we have a big day of skiing and opening ceremonies tomorrow.

The Ski Team at the Competition Site

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