Dutch Women Softball Team

2008

Olympic Games - Day 4

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Olympic Games - Day 4 - Friday, August 8
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Day 4: Goosebumps and speechless!

BEIJING (China) - Friday, August 8, was a day of goosebumps and a lot of speechless moments, as the 29th Olympic Games in Beijing were officially opened with a spectacular and amazing Opening Ceremony. How can you equal of surpass this in the future?

Earlier in the day, there were more goosebumps and speechless moments for KNBSB-President Ruud van Zetten, his wife Rienette, Media Officer Marco Stoovelaar and Martijn van Berkel, one of the two Physical Therapists of the Dutch Olympic Baseball Team. The quartet, accompanied by four members of the NeVoBo-trip, who booked their journey to Beijing through the Dutch Volleyball Association, went to the Great Wall. At the Mutianyu section, we first went up by cable car, then climbed and walked on the Great Wall. And it was spectacular and amazing. Not only by walking on such a legendary landmark, but also because of its rich history, the architecture, the view and just being there on a height of 1100 meters above sea level.

A few hours before the Opening Ceremony, the Van Zetten's and Marco, who were now joined by KNBSB-Boardmember Softball Affairs André van Overbeek, went to the Holland Heineken House. There, we ate some real Dutch fastfood, like a 'patatje met' and a 'broodje kroket', but also met or ran into the family of catcher Ellen Venker, a delegation of Twins and Sparks Haarlem, Official Scorer Brigitta Zaal and her husband Jan, Haarlem Baseball Week-committee member Alex Nelissen (who is involved in the Badminton tournament), Belgian ESF-official Eddy Van Straelen, former baseball-player Max Brevet (now with travel agency ATP), radioreporters/commentators Andy Houtkamp and Ronald Boot (NOS Radio Olympia) and TV-host Mart Smeets (NOS Studio SPort).

Then, in the National Stadium, or 'Bird's Nest', it was time for a spectacular Opening Ceremony, which started with the beating of the Chinese drums and a huge fireworks. The Dutch Olympic Team left the Olympic Village around 7:00 PM for the ride to the stadium, as it would enter it as 151st of the 204 nations, who participate in the Olympics. Hockey-player Jeroen Delmee carried the Dutch flag. About 2 1/2 hours after the Ceremony began, the Dutch Team entered the stadium, which was filled with 91.000 spectators, including such dignitaries as His Royal Highness Crownprince Willem-Alexander and his wife Princess Maxima, Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende, USA President George W. Bush, former Russia-President Vladimir Putin, Israeli President Shimon Peres, Monaco's Prince Albert, Luxemburg's Grand Duke Henri, Her Royal Highness Princess Anne of the United Kingdom, King Harald of Norway, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and many, many more Heads of States, Parliament Leaders and Royalties. All members of the Dutch Baseball and Softball Teams participated in the parade. Reviewing the TV-replay on CCTV, we could later see that some of the players were clearly visible in the TV-coverage.

After all countries were greeted and entered the stadium, Jacques Rogge, the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) held his opening speech, then Hu Jintao, the President of the People's Republic of China, declared the Olympic Games open at 11:36 PM local time. The Olympic Flag then entered the stadium and was marched to the flagpole and raised by military personnel. Li Ning, who who three gold medals at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles (USA), then lighted the Olympic Flame, followed by another spectacular fireworks-display to close the Ceremony, which lasted more than four hours, but they were worth it, as the Chinese organizing had put on a wonderful show.

It was an amazing day, with a lot of breathtaking, spectacular goosebumping moments!

It's now up to the athletes!


A map of the Great Wall-area some of us visited today


Lots of small souvenir-shops lead up to the Great Wall


We went up to the Wall by cable car


A view of the spectacular Great Wall


Martijn van Berkel, one of the Physical Therapists of the Dutch Baseball Team, and
Marco Stoovelaar, the Softball Media Officer, on the Great Wall
(photo taken by Rienette van Zetten)


Gargoiles atop one of the watchtowers


Views of the amazing and breathtaking Great Wall


KNBSB-President Ruud van Zetten and his wife Rienette on the Great Wall


Media Officer Marco Stoovelaar with an ancient general of the Chinese Army


The Holland Heineken House a few hours before the Opening Ceremony


The studio at the Holland Heineken House of the radio-show hosted by Edwin Evers


Twins-delegation Sarah Van Der Meieren, Sandra Catoen, Rox van der Hoeven and Andee Lindgren
with Ellen Venker's parents Ineke and Loek and sister Leonie
together with KNBSB-member of the Board André van Overbeek


Media Officer Marco Stoovelaar, KNBSB-Boardmember André van Overbeek and
KNBSB-President Ruud van Zetten
enjoy a 'patatje met' and a 'broodje kroket' at the Holland Heineken House
(photo taken by Loek Venker)


Alex Nelissen, member of the Organizing Committee of the Haarlem Baseball Week
is in Beijing as one of the announcers of the Olympic Badminton-tournament


Also in Beijing: Official Scorer Brigitta Zaal and husband Jan, here with Rienette van Zetten


KNBSB-President Ruud van Zetten is interviewed by Andy Houtkamp of NOS Radio Olympia


Marloes Fellinger, Saskia Kosterink and Rebecca Soumeru
with Dutch judoka-medal contender Dennis van der Geest
(Photo taken by Rebecca Soumeru/Petra van Heijst)


Coach Mary-Ann Hatt poses with one of the Olympic Torch-bearers
(Photo taken by Caroline Theunissen)


It's time for the Dutch Olympic Delegation to enter the National Stadium
(Photo taken by Caroline Theunissen)


The entrance to the National Stadium (the Bird's Nest)
(Photo taken by Rebecca Soumeru/Petra van Heijst)


Coach Linda Wells during the Opening Ceremony
(Photo taken by Liz Kelly)


Head Coach Liz Kelly clearly enjoys being at the Opening Ceremony
(Photo taken by Linda Wells)


Saskia Kosterink and Britt Vonk during the Opening Ceremony
(Photo taken by Rebecca Soumeru/Petra van Heijst)


The Dutch Softball Team poses during the Opening Ceremony


Staffmembers of the Dutch Softball and Baseball Team during the Opening Ceremony
In the back, on the scoreboard, tennis-player Roger Federer carries the Swiss flag


Tennisplayer Roger Federer carries the Swiss flag
The tennis-pro had to flee the Olympic Village, as he was unable to walk around
without being stopped by other athletes to pose for photos
(Photo taken by Caroline Theunissen)


The Corendon Kinheim-representatives in the Dutch Olympic Baseball Team:
David Bergman, Danny Rombley, Michiel van Kampen, Tjerk Smeets, Roel Koolen (in the back),
Dirk van 't Klooster, Equipment Manager Frans Bergman and Bryan Engelhardt
(Photo taken by Caroline Theunissen)


7 foot 6 tall Yao Ming, the wellknown NBA-basketball-player of the Houston Rockets
carries the flag of host China and leads the 1099-member Chinese delegation


The Olympic Flag is carried into the stadium
(Photo taken by Caroline Theunissen)


The Olympic and Chinese Flags are waving, it's time for the Olympic Flame to enter the stadium
(Photo taken by Rebecca Soumeru/Petra van Heijst)


Chinese athlete Li Ning 'runs' on the roof of the stadium to ignite the Olympic Flame
(Photo taken by Rebecca Soumeru/Petra van Heijst)


The Olympic Flame is enlighted. The Olympic Games can begin!
(Photo taken by Rebecca Soumeru/Petra van Heijst)

Go back to the schedule of the Olympic Games

For suggestions, questions or requests mail to Media Officer/Webmaster Marco Stoovelaar: stoov@dutchsoftballteam.com

Last Update: August 15, 2008
Copyright Photos © 2008 Marco Stoovelaar.
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