In Beijing, the athletes live in their own Olympic village. Their family members can't stay there and most family members either live in rented apartments or with friends in the city. The Olympic Village is on the Olympic shuttle bus route to the tennis venue and it was fun to see how they had decorated their sections with their country's flags on the balconies.
With world-class athletes comes world-class catering, also known as McDonalds (well, for this Olympics). There are five McDonald's total in the Olympic Green, two for spectators, two for athletes and one for the press. See how crowded it was at this McDonald outlet.
My mom met someone who works for McDonald's and he told her that Usain Bolt (winner of the 100m and 200m races) likes Chicken McNuggets. He eats them for breakfast and lunch! Coca Cola is also a sponsor and they give each athlete a Coke bottle-shaped key chain that allows them to have free Coke products. Every athlete also gets a free t-shirt made from cotton & five recycled Coke bottles (PET) to raise environmental protection at this "Green Olympics".
My mom took me to a party last weekend where I got to meet Gabe Gardner who is on the USA volleyball team.
He said that the facilities in the Olympic Village and the Olympic venues are excellent. He let me look at his badge and told me that when it is scanned (it has a computer chip inside it), his picture shows up on the computer, so no one else can compete in his place. The badge also has his identifying number and address in the Olympic Village. On the bottom of the badge are boxes with letters on it. these tell you which venues he has access to (i.e. "VO" means volleyball and "OG" would mean you can go on the Olympic Green where the Water Cube and Bird's Nest are). Gabe said that because he had a game the next morning, he had a curfew of 8:30 p.m. That's earlier than my bedtime!
My mom took these photos!
If you want to know more about Gabe, you can check out his website at www.gabegardner.com.