Berlin Diary 09, WC-Arriving in Berlin, by Larry Eder



Berlin Olympic Stadium, August 13, 2009, photo by Larry Eder

The trip to Berlin started about twenty four hours ago. I left the office, in Fort Atkinson, WI, about one in the afternoon, and took a two hour bus ride to Chicago. My Chicago to Munich flight was half full (first time this summer), so I got to find a half row all for my lonesome. I am reading Pat Butcher's opus, The Perfect Distance: Ovet & Coe. I spent the seven of the eight hours reading it ( it is that good-I will follow up with a review), and chatting with a couple of new found friends on the plane.

My arrival in Munich gave me enough time to grab an espresso and tomato juice, and get a quick shower, before I headed to my flight to Berlin. The Berlin airport was small, and waiting for baggage, I met Donovan Bailey, the 1996 Olympic 100 meter champion. Donovan looked in great shape, as always. After a quick introduction, I asked him about the sprints. He is quite impressed with Usain Bolt, but he told us that both guys want the 100 meters and 200 meters very bad. " Neither Tyson nor Usain will let up, they will give it their all. It is great for the sport!"

Donovan Bailey is right. Competition is what our sport is all about. Not the stop watch, not the measuring tape, but pure, competition. And for the next nine days ( August 15-23), our sport will be celebrating who can run, jump and throw better than mere mortals.

It is 4:30 in the afternoon in Germany, and 8:30 in the morning in New York, on Thursday, August 13, 2009. We are in the Main Press Center at the Berlin Olympic Stadium. Right now, two days before the start of WC 2009, there is a junior meet, with all of the trimmings, going on in the stadium, as a test for the big day-Saturday.

Our coverage will begin this evening. Watch for updates on twitter, runblogrun and
the running network ( updates, blogs, galleries)!

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