Tacoma native Marcus Wiley is one of 27 Puget Sound football student-athletes traveling to China (May 15-23), where the Loggers will learn the culture, lead youth football clinics, and compete against the Shanghai Titans (2017 American Football Leage of China Champions). Wiley writes about visiting the Bird's Nest, China's growing interest in American football, and food.
Visiting China has been a phenomenal experience, and I'm very fortunate and grateful for the opportunity!
A little more than a year ago the Chinese President, Xi Jin Ping, visited my high school, Lincoln High School. My teammates, coaches, and I demonstrated the sport of football to him. It was a simple demonstration, but it was his first time seeing it.
I remember in particular the moment President Xi Jin Pin said China was going to adopt football and start playing. He also said that China would some day play football in the Birds Nest Stadium in Beijing, where the 2008 Olympics were held. Yesterday, we visited the Bird's Nest, our tour guide noted that American football has never been played in the stadium. It was very interesting that we were standing in the stadium where all the best athletes in the world had competed - except football players.
The view on top of the Bird's Nest was extraordinary and I love it. Along with all the great views, I've been particularly enjoying all the great food! I feel like I have also attempted to absorb every ounce of the culture. I have attempted to taste everything that was given to me, and I most of the food here. I have also enjoyed bargaining in the shops and attempting to get this best deals for my teammates. Overall I've had a great time and look forward to visiting again in the future!