NCAA Championships Blog - April 22, 2008

April 22, 2008

Athens, GA - After a long travel day Tuesday, the Bruins are settling in here in Athens, GA, with a Wednesday afternoon schedule that includes a 4 pm practice on the podium and some media obligations.

Travel on Tuesday was relatively easy, as we had a non-stop four-hour flight to Atlanta, followed by about a two-hour bus ride to Athens. It sounds long, but after our 12-hour experience travelling to Gainesville a little over a week ago, this was a piece of cake.

The great thing about the LA airport is that you never know who or what you'll see. Last time we were there, we saw Maurice Jones-Drew. This time, as we were waiting for the team to get checked in at the airport, we got a glimpse of what appeared to be some competitors on The Amazing Race. I saw a camera crew shooting two blondes wearing hot pink sweatsuits as they quickly walked outside the terminal. Hmmm, don't think we've ever seen THAT kind of team before on the show (says she with heavy sarcasm). A few minutes later, we caught a glimpse of two more pairs. They didn't seem to be rushing too much, so I'm thinking they aren't going to last very long on this show.

The team all had different ways of occupying themselves on the long flight. Some napped, some studied (and some napped while studying). Others watched movies, and some (including yours truly) played the in-flight trivia game. I'm a bit of a trivia fiend, so I was having fun with it. When they weren't flashing all the aviation and geopolitics questions, that is! Where were the gymnastics 'How many inches wide is the balance beam?' questions? Or the 'Which school was the first to win 100 NCAA Championships?' questions? Student trainer Jessica Hooper proved to be stiff competition, taking a few rounds. Coach Foody also had a strong showing, taking round one.

After stopping for dinner halfway between Atlanta and Athens, we finally arrived at our hotel at 11 pm. A videographer for the Tournament was there to document our arrival. The lobby of the hotel was decked out with banners hanging from the ceiling for each team and the teams of individual qualifiers that were staying there. The Championship excitement is definitely in the air!

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