Dutch Women Softball Team

2008

Olympic Games - Day 6

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Olympic Games - Day 6 - Sunday, August 10
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Day 6: Bicycles & Beauty

BEIJING (China) - After some very busy days, the Dutch Olympic Softball Team had the day off on Sunday. The team will be back on the field tomorrow-evening for its last practice-session. On Tuesday, the team opens the Olympic softball-tournament against host-country China.

On Sunday-morning, after having a team-walk, the mini-bicycles, which were ordered two days ago, were picked up. The players really enjoy them. After days of practicing, watching videos, taking walks and having several meals, the team had the day off, so they could experience with their new bicycles. Later in the day, there was an optional practice session to handle some grounders. The team is doing very well in the Olympic Village, but is ready to play some games.

Also on Sunday, Media Officer Marco Stoovelaar, KNBSB-President Ruud van Zetten and his wife Rienette, went to the Forbidden City. There, the three fell from one amazement into another, as they walked first through three major temples, then entired the Forbidden City. You can take as much photos as you want, but you have to be there to really experience the rich history and beauty of the immense complex.

The Forbidden City was the Chinese imperial palace from the mid Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty. For almost five centuries, it was the home of the Chinese Emperor and his household and served as the ceremonial and political center of the government. The Forbidden City was built from 1406 to 1420 (requiring more than a million workers) and has 980 buildings with 8707 rooms, covering 720,000 square metres. It is the world's largest surviving palace complex. It was declared a World Heritage Site in 1987 by UNESCO.

From 1420 to 1644, the Forbidden City was the seat of the famous Ming Dynasty. Hereafter, the Shun Dynasty took over, but was soon followed by the Qing Dynasty. In total, 24 Emperors (14 Ming, 10 Qing) lived in the Forbidden City, which was the political center of China. That ended in 1912 with the abdication of Pu Yi, the last Emperor of China. The 1987-movie 'The Last Emperor' depicts the live of Pu Yi and was the first feature film authorised to be filmed in the Forbidden City. The film is directed by Bernardo Bertolucci.

Sunday was a very clouded day, which started with some rain. While it rained sometimes heavily in several parts of Beijing, the visit to the Forbidden City could be done in dry weather. However, at the Wukesong Baseball Field, it rained more, resulting in the postponement of the exhibition game between Canada and the Dutch Olympic Baseball Team, which conducted a practice instead. The game was rescheduled for Monday-evening. In the late afternoon, there was more heavy rain, accompanied by lightning and thunder, forcing the tennis- and rowing-tournaments to be interrupted and scrubbed for the rest of the day.

The softball-tournament is now only one day away, while the baseball-tournament opens on Wednesday.

On Sunday, there also was another medal for the Dutch Olympic Team, this time a golden one, being won by the swimming 4x100 relay women team. Congratulations!


Players and staff of the Dutch Softball and Baseball Teams pick up their bicycles
wearing ponchos, as it rained in the morning


The mini-bicycles are ready for distribution


The biycles were tried right away
(Photo taken by Rebecca Soumeru/Petra van Heijst)


Later in the day, it rained heavily, meaning the garden at the Dutch apartment was flooded





A view in one of the softball-rooms
(Photo taken by Rebecca Soumeru/Petra van Heijst)


A look at the Gate of Supreme Harmony


The Hall of Supreme Harmony, the largest of three halls, was the ceremonial center
where the Emperor held court to discuss state affairs during the Ming Dynasty


During the Qing Dynasty, the Hall of Supreme Harmony was only used for ceremonial
purposes, like coronations and imperial weddings


The Gate of Supreme Harmony


KNBSB-President Ruud van Zetten and his wife Rienette and Media Officer Marco Stoovelaar
in front of the Hall of Supreme Harmony
(Photo right taken by Rienette van Zetten)


Carolien Gehrels, Alderman for Sports of Dutch capital Amsterdam, also visited the Forbidden City today


An look towards the Inner Court of the Forbidden City, which was the residence of the Emperor and his family


Decorations on the roofs of the buildings in the Forbidden City


Another look of the Gate of Supreme Harmony


The portrait of Mao Zedong on the outside of Meridian Gate, which is the main south gate of the complex


After leaving the complex, the road bicycle racers came by at Tian'anmen Square
In the back is the Great House of the People, which houses the national government


A few streets further on, local residents played their own game

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.
Copyright Site © 2008 Dutch Women Softball Team.