Beijing Blogs - Natalie Golda - Aug. 14, 2008

Aug. 14, 2008

On to the Next Match

Tomorrow [Friday], we play Russia. They are a very good team that is no longer in contention for a medal - with their loss to Russia yesterday, they do not advance to the next round. It just goes to show that this tournament is incredibly competitive, and the fact that two European powerhouses - Greece and Russia - are no longer in the running proves that point. Because of our tie with Italy, we would need China to beat Italy in order for us to advance first in our bracket and go straight to the semifinals. If Italy beats China tomorrow, we still advance, but we must play one extra game in the quarterfinals. No problem - just one more opportunity to play under the lights!

Hanging out in the village and watching other athletes compete has been great. I have met so many incredible people, and I love watching them in their respective "craft". I think we have won over a lot of new water polo fans, people saying "Hey, we watched your game - I don't know how you do it. I'd punch someone!" I think we have a great new fan base here with the other athletes.

One thing that has disappointed me, however, is some of the coverage. Not the lack of coverage of smaller sports, but the negative coverage of events such as women's gymnastics. I read a cover story on my e-mail's news feed, and it said something along the lines of "Women's gymnasts lose gold, settle for silver." This is one thing I can't stand about our culture - we don't see the fact that an Olympic medal is a wonderful thing, regardless of the color. Many are quick to jump on certain bandwagons and forget that these people are human, and in regards to the gymnasts, young. Things happen - someone has a remarkable day, someone has a bad day. We as a culture need to stand by our Olympians not only for gold medals, but for their participation. Spread the word.

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