Out of 90,000 seats

The fellow sitting in front of me at the Beijing Olympics was working his iPhone, so I asked him how it was working in China. He said great, and we struck up a conversation. We asked each other where the other was from, and when he heard I was from Southern Oregon he said that his friend's wife had gone to high school in that area. She was at the concession stand, but when she returned I expected her to tell me she'd graduated from one of the bigger schools in the area. Turns out, she graduated from mine: Phoenix High School, Phoenix, Oregon. She had graduated three years behind me, and she had seen my brother, Bob, at her brother, Carl Leeser's wedding three months earlier.

In a nation of 1.2 billion people, a city of 15 million and a stadium with 90,000 seats it was a blessing to make such a connection.

It had been arranged for me to perform in the Olympic Village for some athletes that day, but the night before a dignitary flew to Beijing unexpectedly and needed the pass I was going to use. This meeting felt like a gift and totally took the sting out of the disappointment!


  1. On November 16 I posted an even more amazing Phoenix/Beijing connection: What are the chances?

  2. Heidi and Joe went on to compete in The Amazing Race in the Spring 2010 season.

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