U.S. Olympic Fencing Team Member
After over 15 hours of travel time, my teammates and I arrived in the Olympic Village. Our journey began with us first going to San Jose, CA, where all U.S. Olympians must pass through for team processing, which includes the official apparel package and going through medical tests.
One of the great things about being on the U.S. team is how efficient the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) handles everything. The precision would make a military squad commander envious. The night before we were supposed to depart, we had already handed off our luggage, and all we basically had to do was just show up to the airport the next morning and board the plane.
Once on the plane, all Americans must wear identical apparel and we never had to worry about any issues because there is an endless supply of USOC members willing to help with our transition.
When we arrived in Beijing the amount of Chinese volunteers available kept the tourist /athlete ratio to volunteer at 1:1. They helped with all of the luggage and miscellaneous questions we had as we prepared to shuttle off to the Village. As Americans, we were all kept in the same group and headed off to the village in unison from the airport.
Once we arrived in the Village, we were assigned rooms, which were a mix between new college dorms and apartment buildings that capture all of the necessary needs of an athlete. This includes masseuses, Internet lounges, video game areas and a 24-hour dining hall.