(continued from page 2)
Wayne Gretzky's dad gave me a hockey pin in the lobby of the Central Hotel, and I got my picture with Dave's Mom when they did a story in town, so it was thrilling the things that would happen to me!! I also went to the ham radio station there but not too many people were on, but I got some nice QSL cards and a great picture of me sitting at the radio with the special Olympics call sign, 8N0WOG, it was really fun!!
I talked to a guy in Guam who was on a Continental airplane on the radio and 2 Japanese guys, but I was disappointed that no one was on the radio from the USA. I bought some cute souvenirs, though they underestimated how many people would be crowding every store looking for Snowlet stuff!! The Japanese are very pushy in crowds and I tell you I was carried along by the numbers of people trying to walk on the streets and in the stores!! I also went to the Press Center one day and met some really great people, from ABC and VOA and all sorts of places, and newspapers all over the world and they had great handouts and booklets and free stuff to bring home!! I went to the press conference on Salt Lake City and a friend from ABC here in LA came to Nagano and had no place to stay so I let her room with me for 2 days and we became closer friends, I really know now what it is like when you have no home and I didn't want her to feel like that. Her ABC friends were really fun too and introduced me to people.
I also tried to rest some, because after all it was vacation, and I shouldn't feel bad if I am not on the run every minute of the day, but I feel I really lived the Olympic experience, going to events and actually succeeding, finding places to stay, seeing the city and area, so I accomplished a lot.
On the last day, even, just 5 hours before I left, I finally bought my CBS jacket from someone who didn't want his, I am sure you saw them on all the time, the black and orange jackets, and let me tell you when my friend came over to take me to the train and he knocked on the door and I was wearing my CBS jacket, he was VERY surprised!! But I said I wouldn't leave without my jacket and I didn't have to, I love it and wear it whenever the weather is cool enough here!!
I took the train back, then a big deal trying to get through Tokyo train station and not much time, but they had a special deal where you could UPS your bag to Narita Airport right from the hotel to the departure hall in the airport, so then I still had my carry on bag and stuff, which was plenty, but it is very difficult at the airport, you need a certain ticket to get out, and I paid them on the train so didn't have this ticket, then they wouldn't let me out, they don't care about your explanation, no ticket, no exit, but finally another lady with a CBS jacket who saw my CBS jacket had an extra ticket and gave me her extra one or I would still be there!! The flight home was good, 8 hours, and I got upgraded to Business class but even that is so full now, the food is nicer but it is not as luxurious as it used to be, I figured I had earned it from my weeks and weeks of struggle...every minute was worth it, and I accomplished what I wanted to, and I have proven that really, truly, anything is possible.