Tacoma native Alvin Johnson 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). Johnson writes about traveling Beijing and taking part in a traditional ceremony.
So far I've had a great time in Beijing, and I'm very thankful that I got the opportunity to come here.
A little over a year ago the President of China visited my high school in Tacoma, and I was lucky enough to be one of the very few players on the football team to demonstrate American football in front of him. After that, he told us that he would like football to expand in China.
Yesterday we went to the Bird's Nest, where the 2008 Summer Olympics were held. It was an amazing experience walking on top of it and seeing where all of the top athletes in the world performed. It would be awesome to see a football game in there one day.
Today we went to old Beijing and had a traditional tea ceremony, which was very good! Then we rode rickshaws throughout old Beijing, veering in and out of alleys and roadways. Our hotel is in a new part of town so it was cool seeing the difference.
Overall, it's a totally new experience and nothing like the United States, in my eyes. I am doing my best to soak it all in and enjoy a different culture. Beijing has been great and I'm looking forward to Shanghai!