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Postcard from Carli Lloyd in Qinhuangdao, China

Every so often when the U.S. Women’s National Team plays out of the country, a player will write an e-postcard, filling in the fans back home on the happenings of the team, off-field activities, and anything else on her mind. Today, 26-year-old midfielder Carli Lloyd checks in from Qinhuangdao, China, as the USA has arrived in the venue which will host its first two matches.

Hello from the beach in Qinhuangdao! After spending a few days in Beijing, we have arrived in our game venue and amazingly, the hotel is right on the beach. I have to admit, I’ve been in China six times now and this is the first time I’ve seen a beach. It makes me feel like I’m back home on the Jersey Shore. I also have to admit that I am tempted to lay out, but right now, staying out of the heat is more important than a good tan. And there are few things more important than a good tan.

This is my first Olympics, and of course, everyone tells you how big a deal this, but honestly, you can’t understand the enormity of the event until you are actually right in the middle of it. There are just so many people greeting you and smiling at you everywhere you go. There are multiple security checks and people falling over each other to help you.

You can just feel the excitement from the Chinese people and the Olympics are still more than 10 days away!

We spent our first three days in China in dorms at Beijing Normal University, which is where the USOC has its home base. For the first time with the National Team, I didn’t have a roommate, which was pretty strange. The alone time was good, as I’m very independent, but of course it’s always fun to room with your teammates and when you do, there is much less of a chance that you’ll be late for something. Luckily, I didn’t over-sleep for any meals or meetings.

We’ve only had one practice so far as our bodies begin to adjust to the 12-hour time difference from the East Coast, but I think climbing the Great Wall of China counts as a training session, or at least the biggest StairMaster I’ve ever been on. You see, I am what you would call a sweater. All the team was drenched, but I looked like I’d just jumped into a pool. I think if I would have sat down on the steep slope, I would have slid down like I was on a water slide. Still, what a great experience to see something that amazing and ancient.

During our first training, I didn’t wear my mask for my previously broken nose for the first time in five weeks. It was great to get that thing off! Everything is feeling good face-wise, and I’m glad I won’t have to wear that thing during games. It’s just tough seeing the ball (with the mask), and that’s pretty important for a soccer player.

I think I am the only player who doesn’t have any family or friends coming over here to watch games. Don’t be sad for me! They all still love me, but this tournament is focus time and I know they all will be getting up early to watch back home. Special thanks to my family, my boyfriend Brian, my trainer James and everyone else who has helped me get to this point. I’ll get you guys some cool T-shirts at some point during the trip. Does anyone want a stamp with their name in Chinese?

That’s all for now and to all the fans back home, thanks for supporting the team. It’s much appreciated.

Carli out from the Shore.