Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Top 10 Brendan Hansen Bronzed

Congratulations Captain!  Bronze is Beautiful!

The pictures in the blog were taken in 2000 at the very beginning of Brendan Hansen's career.  What a great journey he has had!

1. Handsome Hansen is what I used to call him.

2.  He was just real pretty in the water.

3. If  you were lucky enough to be a parent of a swimmer in Delaware County back around the end of the last century, early new millennium you got to see an Olympian up close and personal.

4. Brendan Hansen was a standout way back when.  He was swimming in the summer for Karakung Swim Club in Havertown and our club, Creekside would race against him.

 5. He is making a big splash in this photograph, but typically he would dive in and wouldn't surface until almost the middle of the pool.  This was not ordinary for the rest of the swimmers.

6. I always bring my camera with me and one of the other parents mentioned to me that Brendan Hansen was there.

7. I said, who is Brendan Hansen?  "A national champion", he said as he pointed him out and I have been a fan ever since.  He was amazing to watch.

8. After he graduated high school and stopped swimming for the Karakung, the local swim club and for the Suburban Seahawks, he attended the University of Texas.  I would follow his career every time one of his meets were televised. The Daily Times has also followed his career and that is where I got most of my information about Brendan.

9. He is the closest I ever got to an Olympic champion.  He has won a medal in every color, gold, silver and bronze.

10. I never would have had the opportunity to see Brendan if I were not also following around this other nine year old superstar.  The best one in the water in her mother's eyes. Whenever her name got in the newspaper it was usually spelled wrong, it was Filbert or Feebert sometimes ever Seibert but we knew who she was.  She swam through high school and had a job as a lifeguard in the summer for at least 4 years and during that time she dove in and saved 3 little kids.  The first time she came home from work and said nonchalantly, "I had to jump in and save this little girl today".  I knew she was golden.  She didn't think she was special, just doing her job.  I was so proud.  Maybe there was something that graced the water that day and every one of those kids were deemed for greatness.

Brendan Hansen, the unofficial fan website
Brendan Hansen, wikipedia
nbcolympics.com/athlete/brendanhansenTwitter.com/BrendanHanson22 a direct quote from Brendan on 7/29/2012 "You have a lane, you have an opportunity".

Monday, July 30, 2012

Top 10 Connections to the Olympics

To my great surprise Rick Fox cameraman from NBC took the time out of his busy schedule and sent photos Sunday morning "our time" that he personally took of the Opening Ceremony of the 30th Olympiad.   Check them out.

Photo by Rick Fox

1. I got my first blogging opportunity with delcotimes.com by submitting 10 highlights of the 2010 Winter Olympics.  This is the 2012 Summer Olympics.  I have been writing a list daily Monday through Friday ever since. Who would have thunk it? Sometimes I wonder how I thunk it?

Photo by Rick Fox

2.  I was there in the last century when Brendan Hansen swam in Delaware County and I have pictures! See tomorrow's blog.

Photo by Rick Fox

3.  This past June, I got to visit the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, I think I may have seen Tyler McGill practicing in the pool.

Fiebert photo "Olympic Training Facility", Colorado Springs.

4. I went to London last May and saw many of the landmarks and venues that will be shown on television these next coming weeks.

Photo by Rick Fox

5.  I wrote a blog on things to do and see in London on Thursday, July 26th.  It was picked up in London and for a while there was a competition going on between the US and the UK in most hits from a country on the blog.  Who won?  USA of course.

Fiebert photo "Home of the Crown Jewels"

6. On Friday July 27th, I was contacted by an organization that promotes the Tower of London asking me to link my listing of the Tower of London to them.  I was all too happy to do this and exchanged several emails with a London resident.  She returned my favor by identifying a statue I had searched for online. The statue in question was part of two called "The Couple".  There is also a female if anyone has a picture to share to complete my set.  I only saw the male.

Fiebert photo one of "The Couple"

7. Tyler McGill's fan club started following me on Twitter.  I would love to know if it is his picture I took in the pool at Colorado but it is at a distance and the glare on the glass doesn't help.

Fiebert photo

8. My husband went to high school with and is in touch with an NBC sports camera man.  He is working about 12 hours a day right now, he filmed part of the opening ceremonies and the Bob Costa segments.

Photo by Rick Fox

9. We are watching the games at delay just like everyone else and I try to with restraint from seeing who has won the events leaked on the Internet that I am most curious about.  That can ruin most of the fun in watching.  I have never been to an Olympic event in person.

Photo Rick Fox

10. I am just so dang close, I haven't made it there yet but I still continue to strive for that golden opportunity.  What are some of those sayings about the journey?

Photo by Rick Fox


Focus on the journey, not the destination.  Joy is found in not finishing an activity but in doing it.
Greg Anderson.


Too often we are are so preoccupied with the destination, we forget about the journey.
Unknown author but we can all relate.

Photo by Rick Fox
  Rick's job the first evening was to cover  the Royal Box.  He was directly across from them.

Photo by Rick Fox
Connection: I write this blog, the Olympics 2010 coverage was the first, my husband went to high school at Haverford High School with NBC cameraman Rick Fox and Brendan Hanson Olympic swimmer attended Haverford High School.  We all have a connection out there.  I am the odd girl out but I did put them all together.

I am loving the Olympics and all the connections!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Top 10 Visiting London the Basics to Do and See

1. Rumor has it that the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics will open at 9 p.m. with the sound of a 27-ton bell, also rumored to be forged at London's 442-year-old Whitechapel Bell Foundry, which made London's Big Ben and Philadelphia's Liberty Bell. Sounds like good stock.

Big Ben in London

Liberty Bell in Philadelphia

2. Buckingham Palace is where the famous changing of the guards takes place and the Queen sometimes takes up residence.  There are events scheduled in this area, so I would double check to see if they are still doing this pageantry during the Olympics.  It is something to see.

3. Victoria Memorial most likely will be in view watching over the events taking place at The Mall. It is a large statue of Queen Victoria facing north-eastwards towards The Mall. The other sides of the monument feature  statues of the Angel of Justice (facing north-westwards toward Green Park), the Angel of Truth (facing south-eastwards) and Charity facing Buckingham Palace  On the top is Victory with Courage and Constancy of either side.

4. Tower Bridge (often mistaken as London Bridge) is one of the most stunning structures in London in my opinion.  The original London Bridge, the one we all associate with the Charles Dickens, Oliver play was torn down in 1831 and replaced with a new London Bridge.  Well that bridge needed to be replaced and was sold in 1968 to Robert P. McCulloch, USA of McCulloch Oil for US$2,460,000.  It is now in Lake Havasu, Arizona as part of and English themed park.

The latest version of London Bridge in London spans the Thames River.  It is no where near as cool as the medieval one but it does look sturdy.

Southwark Bridge

 Westminster Bridge

5. Tower of London is the location of the Crown Jewels and ghosts!!!.  Taking this tour requires a few hours to see all of it.  Some gory stuff went down within those walls. Part of this complex has been around since 1076, built by William the Conqueror.  That alone is fascinating.

6. Royal Albert Hall is directly across from the Albert Memorial facing Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens. There have been many big names appear at this venue and the sound is suppose to be phenomenal.

The Albert Memorial

7. The Queen Elizabeth Gate, is one of the main entrances to Hyde Park. The Triathlon and 10km Marathon Swimming event will take place at Hyde Park.

8. The Wellington Arch was built between 1826-1830 to commemorate Britain's victories in the Napoleonic Wars.  The statue on top is the angel of peace descending on the chariot.  The statue is the largest bronze sculpture in Europe.

9. Trafalgar Square is often used for political demonstrations and community gatherings, such as the celebration of New Year's Eve. In July 2011, the world premiere of the final film in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2, was held in Trafalgar Square, with a 0.75 mile red-carpet linking the two squares. Fans camped in Trafalgar Square for up to three days before the premiere. It was the first premiere ever to be held in Trafalgar Square.

The protests that I saw were across the street from Parliament last May and would have been in plain view of the royal wedding.

10. Westminster Abbey ( a much bigger deal last May, this is where Prince William married Kate Middleton).  The lines may be shorter then they were when I was there.  It's not the focal point of the festivities.

Some of these locations are near where Olympic events will talk place, others are showcase landmarks that I am sure London has ready to show and welcome the world. I am actually looking forward to seeing how many of these places I can spot during the live television coverage.

The Olympic Games run from July 27th through August 12th and the Paralympics run from August 29th through September 9th.

 If you are interested I did 3 blogs on London last year with some different photographs.

http://delcotopten.blogspot.com/2011/06/top-10-things-to-see-and-do-in-london.html http://delcotopten.blogspot.com/2011/06/top-10-more-london-highlights.html

Top 10 Following Women's Olympic Field Hockey Team

Of course we are rooting for the entire team but this one is special to Pennsylvania.  Nine of the 16 athletes have home towns in our state.

Kayla Bashore-Smedley No. 26 F Field Hockey 5'2"  2/20/1983 Shoemakersville PA. Midfielder

Lauren Crandall Number 27 F Field Hockey 5'3"  3/17/1985 Doylestown PA. Defense

Katelyn Falgowski Number 23 F Field Hockey 5'6" 10/23/1988 Landenberg PA. Midfielder

Katie O'Donnell Number 16, F Field Hockey 5'1" 12/6/1988 Blue Bell PA, Striker

Keli Smith Puzo Number 13, F Field Hockey 5'5" 1/25/1979 Selinsgrove PA. Striker

Julia Reinprecht (sisters)Number 14 F Field Hockey 5'3"  7/12/1991 Perkasie PA Defense

Katie Reinprecht (sisters)Number 12 F Field Hockey 5'4"  11/1/1989 Perkasie PA. Midfielder

Paige Selenski  Number 20 F Field Hockey 5'7"  6/30/1990 Shavertown PA. Striker

Amy Swensen Number 25 F Field Hockey 5'4"  10/2/1980 Harrisburg PA. Goalkeeper

The rest of the team Rachel Dawson, Number 8, Midfielder, Berlin, NJ, Melissa Gonzalez,  Number 5, Midfielder, Cortlandt, NY,  Michelle Kasold,  Number 18, Striker, Chapel Hill, NC, Claire Laubach, Number 21, Defense, Centerville, VA, Caroline Nichols, Number 19, Defense, Virginia Beach, VA, Shannon Taylor, Number 11, Striker, Midlothian, VA, Michelle Vittese, Striker, Number 9, Cherry Hill, NJ.

The first game will be July 29th against Germany. Full Field Hockey Schedule on nbcolympics.com.

For Field Hockey Fans, TeamUSA followers and Proud Pennsylvanians, this is a team to watch.

You Go Girls!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Top 10 Ways to Get Around in London

1.  Fly into Heathrow International Airport. It is huge and confusing, unless they have made some serious changes since last year. Know where you want to go! Here is a link to transportation options.

Kudos to British Airways the food was good, the beverages were free including the wine, the movies were current, the seats were comfortable and the hospitality was outstanding.

2. The Olympics may be the best ticket in town but the number two ticket to have is the Tube. Get an all day pass and learn the colored lines and you are good to go anywhere in London with minimal wait time.

Don't make a spectacle of yourself and look like a tourist. Act like a local or look lost these are your options. Either way the Brits are a friendly lot. Pick up a map when you get your ticket.

3. Taxi's are waiting everywhere to take you to your destination.  This is however, the only mode of transportation I did not take, so I can not rate them. They looked fun. I can just say availability seemed to be on every corner.

4. See all there is to see on an open air sight seeing bus while you are in town.  Trying to take it all in on your own, you are bound to miss something.  Once you get the overall, you can go back and spend more time at your favorite "must see".   My only regret Trafalgar Square.  I only drove by.

5. Take the bus, better yet take a Double Decker Bus to shopping even if it is only window shopping at Piccadilly Circus.

6. Motorcycle and Bicycles can scoot around in traffic a little easier and London does have an extensive well utilized transportation system but it is a big and busy city.  There is a lot of traffic, including foot traffic.

7. Depending on the crowds it may be easier to just walk.  The streets are marked well and directions are easy to follow.  As far as safety and feeling secure walking the streets, we had no problem but we did witness an incident with a person the locals refer to as a gypsy.  We were walking down the street with another perhaps local or tourist walking towards us carrying a backpack.  Out of nowhere this guy dressed in outlandish clothing bright green came charging up behind this man and barreled right into him and acted like the man bumped into him.  It didn't look like he picked his pocket or anything. There was a slight bit of confrontation  He went into a tirade and then just ran off.  It was very strange and unsettling to see.  It occurred around dusk in the Knightsbridge area.  I would recommend not to carry a lot of cash and always be aware of your surroundings but that applies to anywhere you travel at anytime.  It is the world we live in.

8. Cruise the Thames on a tall ship and go under the Tower Bridge but don't forget to also walk across the bridge.  There are things to do and see on both sides of the Thames.

9. Climb the steps at the Ritz or take the escalator in Harrods.  The elevators or the lift as it is known in London inside Harrods is cool too.

10. There is a big London to Philadelphia Olympic Connection. Pennsylvania is sending a lot of athletes to represent the USA. If you are lucky enough to be traveling to London as an athlete, a family member or a spectator, God's speed, have a safe trip, go for the gold and enjoy all that London has to offer.  It is a very cool town.