I started my journey from Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, with the couple feet of snow we have in the yard beginning to melt. It is almost mud season, but not yet. After a two hour bus drive to Chicago, I headed on Swiss Air to Zurich. Then, it is Zurich to Barcelona, Barcelona to Valencia, arriving about 6.30 pm local time in Spain.
This will be my first world indoor championships and I am very excited. With 159 countries coming to Valencia, Spain, this will be the largest ever. With an Olympic year, new athletes are showing up and some of the old warriors are considering the indoor as a test of how 2008 will fair for them.
With the deadlines we have on our magazines, my trip was in doubt until early this week. But due to several meetings-the worlds are a chance to meet with sponsors, advertisers, writers and athletes-it made tremendous sense.
I made my reservations at about two am on Tuesday and Swiss Air/SpanAir combination gave me the lowest fair out there! Expedia had offered a fair of $1131, but four stops. For $1221, I made it in three stops and the Swiss Air flights economy section was half full.
While on the plane, I read an excellent article on the Youth Olympics that Jacques Rogge, the IOC major domo, is promoting. Liame Diack, the IAAF president, said it best when he called the present generation of global youth, the "Lost generation." His concern and Rogge's concern about trying to get kids excited about sport is critical for the future of athletics in particular and the Olympics in general.
More thoughts when I hit Barcelona, I have three hours there!
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