Olympic Diary - Day Two, Feb. 9, 2002Feb. 9, 2002
Baylor University graduate Erika Snoberger, who is covering all speed skating events for the U.S. Olympic Committee at the Winter Olympics, is filing a daily diary with Baylor Public Relations, as she experiences the "shining moments" that only the Games can provide.
DAY TWO - SATURDAY, FEB. 9, 2002, 11:05 p.m.
Wow, the past 48 hours have, without a doubt, been the most spectacular two days of my life. I can hardly believe that last night, out of 3.5 billion viewers around the world, I was blessed enough to be one of just 60,000 of the in-person spectators at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games Opening Ceremonies.
Then, barely 12 hours later, I watched as the second U.S. medal of the Games was won by Derek Parra in the men's 5000m in speed skating!
Let's start with the Ceremonies. I hope most of you watched it on television because even on a TV screen, it must have been awesome. What a great beginning, too. R. Kelly is one of my favorite artists and as he was singing "The World's Greatest" just before the program began, it started to snow in Olympic Stadium. It was so beautiful! I just can't believe all the amazing things I saw, right before my eyes. The procession of the World Trade Center Flag, the Parade of Athletes, the lighting of the Olympic Cauldron and, of course, President George W. Bush! It was more incredible than I could put into words with pages to work with.
Then this afternoon, I went to Utah Olympic Oval to see the men's 5000m race in speed skating. I had interviewed Derek Parra when I was an intern (last year with the USOC) in Colorado Springs and it turned out he won a silver medal today! It was a great day for the U.S., and Derek was not projected to win anything in this particular race! And what a great person, too. He was so much fun in the interview room afterward, talking about his wife, his new daughter, and he is such a strong Christian, too. I have so much respect for him and could not be happier that he won the second U.S. medal of the Games.
Tomorrow, I will cover the women's 3000m race. Jennifer Rodriguez is the U.S.'s best hope to medal in this race, and I really think it will be a great day. Utah Olympic Oval is the highest indoor oval in the world and therefore, the ice conditions are FAST. Everyone is saying that countless records will be broken at this year's Games. It will be such an exciting two weeks, I can't wait. Hopefully I'll be writing tomorrow night about watching the U.S. win GOLD!