U.S. Men Talk About the Opening Ceremonies
U.S. players talk about their experience at the Opening Ceremonies
Aug. 9, 2008
"It’s probably the most amazing thing I’ve ever done. Everything from the fireworks to meeting Kobe Bryant was just a lot of fun."
"Meeting Kobe was cool. I felt bad asking for a picture and everything because people were swarming him, but I told him where I was from and that I was a big fan and he was great."
"Easily the best moment was right before we walked into the stadium and our whole group was chanting ‘U-S-A’ and that was pretty great. I was able to get that part all on video so that was great."
"We got to meet President Bush. It was the second time I’ve met him, but I didn’t get to talk to him too much of course."
"I’ve watched the Opening Ceremonies many times and participating in it, you get to see how much effort they put into it and how amazing the whole thing really is. All the people that were there, 90,00 or more, it was a great show. I hear it was the most expensive ever, and just hearing those facts just puts into perspective how great of an experience it was."
U.S. midfielder Sacha Kljestan
"The overall experience was probably one of the best of my life. Being there with so many great athletes and with some of my best friends on this team was something that I’ll cherish for the rest of my life. When we got inside that stadium with 90,000 people, and they lit the torch, it was really something I’ll never forget."
"Before we went into the stadium we met in an arena that was dedicated for the American athletes. We went in there with everyone and then President Bush came out and spoke to us, which was pretty cool. We heard that this is the first time that an American President has attended the Opening Ceremonies outside of the United States. We were honored to have him there and he wished us the best of luck so that was great."
"We got to meet all the basketball players and the other athletes before we went into the actual Ceremony so that was cool. I think the nicest guy I met was Jason Kidd. He seemed genuinely interested in how we were doing and then Chris Paul knew that we had already won. Dwayne Wade is probably my favorite NBA player so it was cool to meet him too."
"The moment that stands out the most for me was being in the infield and seeing the guy run around the stadium with the torch. I was standing there with Robbie (Rogers), Benny (Feilhaber) and Brad Guzan and we were just soaking it in and talking about how amazing it was. Once they lit the big torch it was kind of like, wow we’re really here and this is really happening. It’s something we’ll never forget."
U.S. defender Michael Parkhurst
"It was a great experience just to be a part of something like that. It’s a little different when you’re watching it on TV. We got to see everything live and happening right in front of us."
"For the first hour and a half or so of the whole thing we were staged in the gymnastics arena. While we were waiting to walk over to the stadium they had a little bit of it on the big screen in there, but we were only able to see about the first 20 minutes or so."
"The torch lighting was amazing. That guy’s hip flexors and his right arm must have been killing him! Other than that it was just a great performance. I don’t think anyone expected anything like that."
"Walking around the stadium was awesome. The environment was great and everyone was chanting U-S-A and there was just a sea of U.S. athletes. To be able to be a part of it was just awesome. The crowd was really excited for us and cheering for us so that was kind of cool."
U.S. goalkeeper Chris Seitz
"The Ceremonies were amazing. We walked into the lunch room and saw Venus and Serena Williams so that was a pretty cool moment. Then we walked into the fencing arena to meet the rest of Team USA and we all got excited when the basketball team walked in."
"President Bush came in and surprised us all. He gave a great speech and then took the time to take photos with every team. That was a great experience. A lot of guys were excited to meet him and be around him and I think it got a lot of people excited. We had just beaten Japan the night before so it was a good couple of days for us."
"We took our lap and pretty much had the world’s attention for five or six minutes, which was pretty special. It was one of the greatest moments I’ve ever had. There were over 90,000 people in the stadium, it was just packed. They were cheering for everyone."
"I do know a few people on the field hockey team from the University of Maryland that I talked to. There is also a tennis player from Thousand Oaks, Sam Querry, that I talked to. I had never met him but he was only a year younger than me in school so it was great to talk to him."