Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Giving Up

I think Chad has given up on trying to post from Beijing! He finally got an internet connection and tried to post from his laptop in order to post some pictures, but after three tries he couldn't get it to work for some reason so he gave up. He has also been VERY busy and has been at the Bird's Nest or practice track pretty much all day every day. He is coming home on Thursday night and I'm sure he'll post some pictures as soon as possible.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Safely in Beijing

I spoke with Chad last night for exactly 4 minutes and 1 second. He arrived safely in Beijing on Monday evening and still cannot get an internet connection! Although we did not have much time to talk before we got cut off and I could not get another connection with him, I know that he made it there safely and is having a great time. The first thing he said to me was, "Well, I'm looking at the Bird's Nest!" I went a little crazy when he said that because I realized what we have been talking about and anticipating for a while now is finally happening for him. It's such a blessing and so exciting. He already had the chance to go inside the Bird's nest and they were setting up for the Opening Ceremonies, which will be held this Saturday, Sept. 6th. When I spoke with him he was at practice with the athletes at the warm-up track next to the Bird's Nest. I can't wait to see pictures, I hope he will post some soon!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Interesting Fact

Chad still cannot get internet access!!! I know you all are not really looking forward to hearing from me (Tara, the wife) again, but I hope you think that it is better than nothing. I will give you a quick update on Chad and then I will get to my interesting fact. I spoke with Chad for about 30 minutes last Friday, which was the longest I have been able to talk to him since he left. He is doing well and enjoying every minute of his time in Japan. He has been there for about a week now and will leave on Tuesday for Beijing. His days are filled with meetings, practice, and a little free time, which for him has been spent trying to get internet access. A buffet breakfast and lunch are provided daily, which he said has a large variety of food and VERY good fruit, some of the best he has ever had. They are on their own for dinner. Several times he has gone out to eat with other coaches on or off base. One time they even went to Chilli's on the base. They have also gone to several local restaurants in Okinawa including a Japanese Steakhouse. I asked him if it was like Sumo (we LOVE Sumo) and he said it was similar, but a little different. They served soup and salad, but instead of ginger dressing on the salad it was a Japanese dressing. Instead of fried rice, they could chose between white rice and garlic rice. He said the rice is sweet and all the food is very yummy! Yesterday he went on a tour of Okinawa and last night they were throwing a party for all the athletes and coaches on the base. I will let you know later how those events turned out.

Now, for my interesting fact...before the Olympics came on TV each night the local news here in Birmingham showed interviews about different athletes who will be competing in the Paralympic Games and train at the Lakeshore Foundation. I noticed and several people pointed out to me that many of the athletes interviewed are not paraplegics. So, I asked Chad about it the other day and he explained that "para" actually stands for parallel and not paraplegic. Interesting! He explained a little further, but instead of explaining I will let you read the definition of "Paralympic Games" from Wikipedia;
The Paralympic Games are a multi-sport event for athletes with physical, mental and sensorial disabilities. This includes mobility disabilities, amputees, visual disabilities and those with cerebral palsy. The Paralympic Games are held every four years, following the Olympic Games, and are governed by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC). (The Paralympic Games are sometimes confused with the Special Olympics World Games, which are only for people with intellectual disabilities).
The name derives from the Greek "para" ("beside" or "alongside") and thus refers to a competition held in parallel with the Olympic Games. No relation with paralysis or paraplegia is intended, though the word Paralympic was originally a portmanteau combining 'paraplegic' and 'Olympic'.[1]

I guess I should have figured that out sooner, but I just didn't put it together. I hope I'm not the only one that did not know that!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

No Internet

Chad has not been able to find internet access in Japan. He is supposed to have wireless internet in his building, but it has not been working since he arrived. He even went to another building to try it and got on the internet for about 5 minutes and then it stopped working and he could not ever get it to work again. Unfortunatley, he also bought a phone card and has not been able to get it to work either so we have not gotten to talk much. He seems to be having a great time and is staying busy. He's going to continue to try to get the internet to work so he can write on the blog soon, but I guess there is not guarantee.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

NBC Interview

I spoke with Chad this morning and they arrived in Okinawa, Japan safely. He did manage to get some rest on the plane, but was still exhausted. It was nighttime there, so he was going to sleep after he got off the phone with me. He said they have a low key day tomorrow, so that will be good for him to really rest up. He has a one bedroom hotel room that is more like an apartment with a livng room and kitchen area all to himself. They are supposed to have wireless internet, but the people at the front desk said it had not been working properly. Hopefully he will find a place soon so he can blog and ya'll will not keep having to hear this information second hand.

So, you may be asking why I titled this blog "NBC Interview." Well, since yesterday several friends have called and e-mailed telling us that they saw Chad on TV. I had not seen it, so I went searching on nbcolympics.com and was able to find it. NBC did a story on Scott Winker, one of the Paralympians that Chad trains, and Chad is in part of the video. He is just standing there, but it's still pretty cool. First, you see the back of him while Scott is throwing and then you see the front of him later. This was on National News!!! To see the interview go to http://www.nbcolympics.com/search/results.htmx?q=determination. In the "video" box click on the one that says "determination." First, it will play a short movie trailer and then the interview will start. I hope you enjoy it!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

This is Tara...

again. I'm blogging for Chad because he did not get a chance to this morning before he left. I just spoke with him and he is on the plane in Colorado Springs waiting to take off. They are flying to Anchorage, AK first to refuel, but they will not be able to get off the plane. Then, they will fly to Kadena Air Force Base in Okinawa, Japan. They will arrive there on Sunday night at about 5:30pm Japan time. They are 14 hours ahead of Birmingham time, so it will be 3:30am early Sunday morning for us. He has been very busy since he arrived in Colarado Springs on Thursday. Each time I've spoken with him he is out of breath from carrying things, rushing off the the next scheduled event, or about to help with another activity. Hopefully he will get some much needed sleep on the plane since he still has not slept much. He was told he would get a whole row to himself, so he was excited that he would get to lay down and stretch out. Well...when he got on the plane he was assigned to a row with 4 seats to himself, but the armrests in his row do not lift up and are pretty bulky. He is also in the middle of 2 rows, so he does not have the side of the plane to lean against to sleep. I'm thinking he is so tired that he will be able to sleep in any position at this point. He functions pretty well with no or little sleep for a while, but after a while he tends to get sick. So, I'm praying that he will get some rest so he won't get sick on his big trip. That's all for now! He is going to try to e-mail me as soon as he can after he arrives in Japan so I will know he is safe and when I hear from him I will blog again. Please pray for their safe travel and that Chad will get rest and be able to focus on his important task at hand.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

And He's Off...

This is Tara, Chad's wife. I may be updating Chad's blog from time to time if he does not get a chance too. I took him to the aiport this morning at 6:00 am after staying up until after 1:00 am packing. He is very excited to get there and find out more information and details about what is in store for him in the next few weeks. Just this morning he told me that there is an article written about his trip on the Samford Athletics Webpage. To read it click on the link to the right. Also, he has a skype account set up for those of you that are familiar with it. While he won't have much time to talk, he would love to hear from some of you while he's gone. He will be in Colorado Springs until Saturday. Then, he will go to Japan for one week for their training camp. After that, it's off to Beijing for 2 weeks. I will try to make sure he is posting regularly or I will try to get on and update on what he has told me. Good Luck Chad!