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Earthquake, hurricane and tornadoes? In one week? Poor NYC. I'm trusting that you're all ok.
I'm sure many of you have heard of or seen "Georgetown vs. China" by now. It's disappointing but not surprising. With Yao Ming retiring, Chinese basketball is back in the cellar. In a nation that's all about "face," losing against foreigners isn't a good look. Chinese basketball teams have had a few memorable fights with other foreign teams in the not-so-distant past as well. Fights in the heat of battle during a game, ok, it happens. But I really wish they'd stop picking up chairs. C'mon China, that just make you look like a sissy.
That same evening I was at the awesome Mercedes Benz Arena here in Shanghai watching Duke play the junior men's national team. It was a well fought game, without the stupidness of the one above. The stadium itself was built for the Expo last year and is world-class amazing. Duke beat the China team pretty easily, despite not playing too well. Duke basketball live. Another "American" thing I've done here in China that I probably wouldn't get to do in America.
Those games culminated in the Nike Festival of Sport here in Shanghai. A four day Swoosh-fest put on by Nike to strengthen their brand here in the world's largest market. They built 10 new basketball courts around the 80,000 seat Shanghai Stadium and created stations for nearly every sport. Even MMA. They made products available for people to wear, skills challenges and brought in pro athletes to conduct clinics. NBA players like Lebron, Amare Stoudemire, Tyson Chandler, Chris Bosh and Kyrie Irving were all here. Along with Duke and the now China-infamous Georgetown basketball teams. All FREE to the public. A couple of my friends work for Nike China, so we got the insiders tour. A really cool event. Nike knows marketing.
Nike Festival of Sport - 2011 Shanghai
Chris Bosh; me with former Knick, Othella Harrington (aka Biz Markie)
Georgetown warming up behind us; NBAer's at closing ceremony
If you're not into sports, sorry. Here's Janie:
Janie & Anna-Sophie (1 mo younger..confirming that Germans are huge); Janie and Daisy in our new apt
Response to comments:
Elyse - Yup, that's Katie. It's funny how the more you go out into the world, the smaller it becomes. See you on this side sometime soon!