BEIJING DISPATCH: Silk market, Peking Duck and Oregon's Olympians

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By Dr. Bob Elliott

It was afternoon thunderstorms and pouring rain in Beijing today, making travel into the community difficult. 

So, we decided that it was a good “indoor day” for sightseeing.  We spent hours in the Silk Market, rubbing shoulders with browsers and buyers from every corner of the world. 

This multi-story market contains six floors of merchants who sell silk, jewelry, clothing, toys and electronics for the discriminating buyer and for those who want true bargains with counterfeit merchandise. \

Most of the merchandise could be purchased for about 25 percent of comparable cost in the U.S. if you are prepared to bargain.

As we walked through the narrow aisles, aggressive young women (very few men) either shout at you or grab your clothing or arm to coax you to stop and inspect their bargains. If you are claustrophobic, this is not the place to spend your day!
 
We have been told that Peking Duck is a mandatory meal in Beijing. Many hotel staff and our fellow tourists have differing opinions about which restaurant serves the “best” and the most “authentic” Peking Duck. We visited the Qianmen Quanjude Roast Duck Restaurant where the roast duck was prepared in full view of the dozens of locals waiting for hours to gain entrance into the main dining room. We have not sampled the delicacy as yet but plan to do so before we leave.

Friday morning, track and field competition begins. 

The Chinese will be focused on Liu Xiang, the 110 meter hurdler and one of China’s most celebrated sports stars. Liu Xiang, whose legs are insured for $13.3 million dollars, will be challenged by Cuban phenomena Dayron Robles, whose times have been faster than Xiang in recent races. 

We will also have the opportunity to watch American sprint star Tyson Gay in his first challenge of the Summer Games. Gay sustained a hamstring injury during the U.S. Olympic Trials in June, and has not competed since that time. However, he states that his training has been going well, and has declared himself 100 percent ready to run.

On this first day of track and field competition, two qualifying rounds in the men’s 100 meters will be run.
 
In tomorrow evening’s track and field session, the women’s 10,000-meter run will be contested. The heat and high humidity make any form of exercise very uncomfortable.  Imagine how difficult it will be for the distance runners!

Future articles will report on the events, stories and results of our U.S. track and field athletes, including Oregon competitors Nicole Teter (800m), Kara Goucher (10,000m) and Amy Yoder Begley (10,000m), who are scheduled to race Friday.

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