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Stephanie Neppl … Reporting from Beijing

By Staff | Aug 19, 2008

Stephanie Neppl watched Roger Federer win Olympic gold in doubles tennis at the Beijing Olympics.

Monday, Aug. 18 2008

The last few days have been full with huge excitement, huge disappointment and some of the bluest skies I’ve ever seen in Beijing.

I spent Saturday afternoon and evening watching Roger Federer win a gold medal in men’s doubles and with it the medal ceremony. This was definitely one of the highlights of my trip to Beijing; seeing the athletes beam as they are given their medals is pretty special.

The day was also one of frustration, as the whole reason I came to the Olympics was because of Saturday’s women’s singles gold medal tennis match. My friend Kathy got two tickets to this session in the Chinese lottery, and it was too big of an opportunity for me, a tennis fanatic, to pass up. However, with the absence of a roof on centre court, two days of rain wreaked havoc on the tennis schedule, so the women’s final was delayed until Sunday. The match was no longer mine to see, and no amount of anger, pleading or reasoning with the Olympic spectator committee could help. I was not going to be present at the match I flew more than 6,000 miles to see. I was gutted.

Nonetheless, I have gotten over this huge mess and last night I finally got to see the Olympic Green – absolutely amazing. My tennis tickets didn’t allow me access (go figure) into the main Olympic area, and as soon as I climbed the last stairs to exit the special subway station, I was in awe. The Bird’s Nest and Water Cube are as beautiful as they looked on TV and the place was buzzing.