8-8-8

A day I'll remember for the rest of my life in more then one way. Got a bit late for my working shift this morning, as subway transfer line 10 to 8 was completely locked down at Beitucheng for the common public (in fact you required a VIP sign on your Accreditation Card). Luckily Olympic bus 1 or 2 nearby dropped me off almost right in front of DQH.

This twelve hour working day progressed far more better then the previous, as I was getting used to the nature of my assignment, my two fellow Atos Origin Volunteers on duty - Michaela and Paskal - and the permanent Team, for whom today is the launch of two years of hard work. About 3 o'clock I got an unexpected call from my wife - Shanshan - to advise that my father was taken to hospital in a critical medical state, with probably no more then a couple of hours or day to live. Unfortunately he has been more dead then alive for almost four to five year now, after he went down for the first time.

Meanwhile Shanshan is already virtually in Shanghai - and next Monday she and my daughter Nicole will join me in Beijing - so I had to call out on my brother to help. Fortunately communications lines were established instantly.

As I am writing these line, we're five quarters away from the Olympic opening ceremony, so some things can really turned out extremely bizarre in life. Just a short walk away from the Technology Operation Center in DHQ behind the security guard, we are granted an exclusive bird's eye view on the Birdnest (NST also known as National Stadium), and while listening to music on the build-in FM radio on my new mobile phone, Krezip is playing, a Dutch band from Tilburg, letting it almost feel like holiday in Belgium. Anyway I am left killing time (wrong expression, because it seems the only thing in the universe always carrying on) until go-live at 8 o'clock - following the Opening from the giant screens and the window - and hope to make the best of the view and the situation. Going now, as everyone is buzzying around at the end of day- / start of nightshift, and d-day landing time.

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After I updated this blog-entry next morning, my father Rogier Hoornaert born 10th August 1933 in the small town Roeselare in West Flanders - gave up his final struggle of life yesterday in the middle of the Olympic Opening Ceremony, less then 10 hours after being taken to hospital. The Chinese BOGOC staff offered me their best chair in front of their only TV, as we kept running back and forth from our desk to the windows when the fireworks and the Olympic flame lit up. At some point everyone jumped up in respect, as the big boss of BOGOC Technology - Pang Yi Chun - came to catch a glimpse of the events unfolding on the little screen.

As everyone was jumping and cheering with Chinese flags either in their hands or painted on their faces, the young soldier which always stood as a robot on his pedestal protecting the entrance of the Technology Center could help smiling and saying hello to everyone.

No point revealing and detailing the full agenda of the ceremony, as it was on display for the whole world to watch, but quite a surprise for me and my wife personally, was the performance of singer Liu Huan, who used to be Shanshan's classmate in Guo Ji Guan Xi Xuan Yuan.

Meanwhile my family is supporting me stay on the Team, as my immediate return will not resolve any issues. My father will be cremated in the coming days, and the service will take place in September.


Collection of BOCOG & Technology Partners watching the fireworks from our top-floor 11 in DHQ.


Athletes returning to the Olympic Village after greeting their country supporters and dignitaries.


Olympic flame atop the NST.


Going home ...