While he may be making his first-ever visit to China, Carlos Boozer is taking a return trip to the Summer Games a repeat honor afforded a low percentage of Olympians.
He heads to the Beijing Olympics with some wishes on his off-time itinerary and some pleasant memories from the 2004 Athens Games a third-place bronze medal for a favored U.S. men's basketball team notwithstanding.
"The most exciting thing about the Olympics is the opening ceremonies," he said. "In Athens, we're in the Coliseum, and the floor of the Coliseum is like a lake, and there's a guy outside of the Coliseum who had a bow and an arrow he lit the arrow tip with fire, shot it from outside the Coliseum, and hit the lake.
"It ended up lighting up the Olympic logo of the five rings with fire," he added." It was phenomenal."
As was the chance to rub shoulders with fellow standout athletes from across the globe.
"I got the chance to see Michael Phelps swim in Athens," he said. "I got the chance to see Venus Williams play, and I got a chance to see our softball team they're phenomenal."
So, what is Boozer hoping to catch while in Beijing?
Proclaiming himself "a big tennis guy I love tennis," Boozer hopes to take in action on a court not of the hardwood variety.
"I've never had a chance to watch Andy Roddick play I hope I get a chance to. (Roger) Federer I've never seen him play, I'd love to get a chance to see him play. And there's (Rafael) Nadal, who's phenomenal and he's a lefty, so I think that's pretty smooth."
Boozer added he'd like to watch some track and field, although he seldom gets a chance to follow competition closely and feel like he's knowledgeable of the current crop of speedsters.
"I'm going to try and take in as much as I can, but at the same time be focused and try to win a gold medal," he said of the Olympics. "It's one of those arenas where you get to see other great athletes, and you want to take advantage of it because it only comes around once every four years."And for Boozer, he's looking for another phenomenal experience the second time around.
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