I’m writing this from my own desk chair, looking at the comfortingly familiar surroundings of my home office. Yes, I’m finally home from the 2008 Olympic equestrian events in Hong Kong.
The journey encompassed a 15-hour departure-flight delay due to Typhoon Nuri — Hong Kong’s worst in nearly a decade, and scoring a direct hit on the city — a long flight that crossed the international date line, thereby rendering me incapable of knowing what day it was or how long I’d been in the air; the inevitable missed connection; some nail-biting moments at the U.S. Airways gate during which I wasn’t sure whether I’d get on the next available flight; and several more cramped hours in the air before a mid-evening landing on the East Coast. It was, no exaggeration, a long day’s journey into night.
I’ve been logging 10+ hours of sleep a night since I’ve been home, and probably will continue to do so for a few more days until I’ve erased the sleep deficit. But I wanted to write one last blog entry while the sights, smells, and events of this incredible experience are still fresh.
Attending an Olympic Games is an extraordinary immersion in international culture, not only of the host nation but also of the many participating countries. You’ll meet people from all over the world and get the chance to compare notes, to learn a bit about one another’s world views, and to gain new perspectives on how you and your own nation are regarded by others, and why. By traveling halfway around the world, I got to know myself better. Curious but true.
As a fan of equestrian sport, attending an Olympi