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Jared Leto, President Bush and the Dream Team Arrive


Media members wait for the main event as the Croatia-Australia game winds down.


More media members, freshly wet from continued showers, keep coming into the cleverly named Olympic Basketball Gymnasium. They've stopped allowing media into the media section unless they can point to a seat that they've previously claimed. Many high-demand Olympic events--such as the Opening Ceremonies--require media tickets. The Post, for example, only could send three people to the Opening.

This game, though, was open admission for media, and so, as pictured above, media members are now ringing the entire nine-sections of media seating, which stretches across about a quarter of the arena. Croatia-Australia has ended, and the crowd gave a huge roar when the announcer promised that USA-China was next. And an even huger roar when the Chinese took the floor, led by Yao, with fans ringing the entrance from the tunnel taking photos.

And look! It's actor/musician Jared Leto, wearing his trademark pork pie-style hat, sitting high up in the one hundred level.

There are also at least several U.S. Olympians from other sports. I just saw men's gymnast David Durante, an alternate on the U.S. team.

And, um, the President of the United States! And his dad. Photographers flooded the zone, only to be blocked by all the fans who were standing and taking photos. The pros shouted at the amateurs to sit down. The amateurs ignored the pros. The Bushes shared a word and sat down. The fans roared for Yao's dunk.

And then the U.S. took the floor, and the crowd roared even louder. Like, much, much louder. Deron Williams led the Americans out, with Carmelo Anthony bringing up the rear. Everyone in the building stood up.

Meanwhile, media members kept pushing for position. "Don't you dare touch my daughter again!!!!" one man screamed at a cameraman who had been jockeying for position with his daughter, evidently. "I'll kill you with my bare hands, you [very bad word]!!!!! You hear me!!!!!" Nice to see the Olympics bringing people together.


President Bush, shortly after arriving for USA-China.

By Dan Steinberg  |  August 10, 2008; 9:55 AM ET
Categories:  NBA , Olympics  
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