August 2008

Beijing Olympic Recovery Mode

225_panoramica_Wkb_Field_2_large.jpgKorea won the whole thing. First team to go 9-0 in Olympic baseball. While USA and Cuba were planning to be 1 and 2.. old Korea slipped right by.  They did have a great team.  Obviously I would have liked to seen USA when the gold but Korea winning it was good in a way that they had never won a medal before in the olympic games.  The closing ceremonies were pretty cool (what I saw of them). Kind of picked up the china crud on the last day so all is a bit of a blur.  I have found that spending 5 weeks in beijing takes a bit longer becoming acclimated to home again. 

CONGRATULATIONS BOCOG!  I will have to say the team we put together to make these
korea gold winning team.jpgfields play as well as they did deserves all te credit in the world. Chad Olsen and Erik Frey basically lived in China the past 2 years overseeing the field improvements and training of volunteers.  Budgie Clark gave a big hand as well during the games.  All in all we made it happen as a HUGE team effort. Susan Zhang and Walter Li took on a tremendous responisbility for BOCOG to pull these games out and they did just great!   Back home Marti Flynn kept everything rolling in the USA for Brickman Sportsturf.

Thanks to all the volunteers which are to many to name but they did live by the “one world one dream” motto.  Finally thanks to the family.

Olympic Bugs

grasshopper.jpgBeijing has some crazy insects.  Over the past few weeks I have witnessed some very unusual critters.  The first flying creatures were the dragon flies.  For a few weeks when it was super humid we had 1000’s flying around the fields.  I noticed they really liked it when we watered the infields.  I guess they were looking for a drink of water.  Or maybe a shower.

When the games began last week we had a grass hopper attack  and everynight they have swarmed the fields when the lights came on. Players are actually swatting them away.   As with any food chain shortly after they begin to land on the turf the flying praying “mantises” or “manti” came into feed on the grass hoppers.  Remember the TV show “Kung Fu.” ..where they called  David Carradine “grasshoppa”  Must be something to it.  

Another noticeable feature of Bejing is the lack of birds.  In the past 4 weeks I have seen 4 birds.  Total!  Two of those birds are turtle doves that fly over the field about 6pm every evening.   Birds and bugs….the rice must be getting to me.

Two more days left then we are heading back to USA.  Hopefully all goes well with the Cuba -USA game. The winner advances to the gold medal round.  The games have been real exciting. MSNBC normally covers the games.  I am sure this one will be on. 

Olympic Games are Underway…Rain an all!

beijing opening day.JPGWe are over the hump as it relates to the Beijing Olympic games.  The competition fields are taking a beating with 32 games in 9 days.  Add daily Batting practice sessions to the games along with rain it makes for quite a challenge. Feel a lot like Disney Sports…in the summer time.   I thank my lucky stars that Chad Olsen, Erik Frey and Budgie Clark are here helping with manage the fields and the 100+ volunteers.  As these days pile up it makes it tough to Blog so hang with me.’s Mark Newman is the best. The fact that he runs as much as he does makes me feel like a wimp.   Thanks for the pose Mark!  mark and murray.JPG

The crowds have been big and the games long. We have had 5 games in the past 3 days go into extra innings. Again not the best for the fields but thats why they are there.  

Here are a few photos I have been snapping for as we move toward the medal rounds this weekend.  yes…USA is still in it which as an american,  is a very good thing.   



gameday battersbox.JPG

Here we go!

compressed groundcrew.JPGSO what did you think of the Opening Cerimonies.  Me personally , Comparing to Sydney and Athens…I would have to say these were better.  My favorite part was the drum corp and obviously when USA entered the field. 

At Wukesong, We are rolling along with workouts.  Cuba, Nederlands, USA, China and Canada have reported.  How about Taiwan, Japan and Korea’s baseball team missing the Opening cerimonies? They show up on the 11th.  Weather has been really rough on the crew.

soupy days for canada.JPGThe humidity and foggy smuggy whatever has been thick. We have rain coming in this weekend which will give us some clear skies for a few days next week.  That will be awesome for the opener.  We are getting great reports from the teams on field conditions. Its hard to believe they are going to tear the stadiums down after its over.  Hopefully the games will be as successful as we all have planned and they keep Field 2
tiffee takes a hack.JPGwhich is the 3500 seat stadium.   USA’a Tiffee is teeing up some China pitching.  Its going to be a great tournament.  Check out Mr Liu our groundskeeping supervisor umping behind the plate.

Day 1 – Team China Takes the field at Wukesong Olympic Venue

teamchina first day.JPGIts official. The first practice is under our belt and the China team had nothing but praise about the practice field and venue.  Jim Leffebre , manager of China’s Olympic team,  was extremely gracious as he told all the volunteers what a great job they did to bring the field up to Olympic standards. Going as far as saying it was as good as any professional field he has ever played on. The volunteers were visibly moved by his talk as Jim is somewhat of a baseball god here.  He has been working with the chinese for over 5 years.   My hats off to the entire sportsturf team as we were still adding tons of conditioner only hours before the team took the field.  This was only because the conditioner didn’t arrive until this morning due to customs snags.  I’m just glad it made it.

fertlizing common areas.JPGMeanwhile across the venue our landscape partners were spraying a fertlizer on the common areas with a very unique spray rig.  These folks amaze me.  NO really. We also welcomed Waldorf’s Darrell Lemmer, Brickman Sportsturf Manager with open arms today as we know he will be an asset to our olympic groundcrew.