The Washington Times - July 9, 2008, 11:15AM

With the flight to Beijing leaving in 25 days (Saturday, Aug. 2), it’s time to start the official Washington Times’ Olympics blog. From now until the flight home on Aug. 26 (just nine days before the Redskins tee it up in the Swamp against Big Blue), I’ll be checking in.

I won’t take credit for the Blog of the Rings title. That goes to assistant sports editor/long-time gymnastics bard John Taylor.

SEE RELATED:


The flight has been booked. The hotel has been finalized. The passport acquired. But in what can be seen as one of two things — 1. Not a good sign; 2. Getting the mistakes out of the way immediately — I received my credential the other day. It had two mistakes, one minor and one colossal.

1) According to the Beijing Olympic folks, my name is O’Halloran Ryan.

2) And, more problematic, the mug shot on the credential is of Bob Ryan, the veteran Boston Globe columnist.

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How this kind of mistake can be made is a head-scratcher.

The problem will hopefully be solved tomorrow when I scan my passport info and send it to the USOC in Colorado Springs.

This is my first rodeo when it comes to the Olympics and I’ll be an army of one in China. Pass along any story ideas or tips on how to survive in Beijing to [email protected]

A month before the Games, a couple of thoughts:

1) There will be no shortage of local athletes to keep track of. Just in the D.C. metro area, we’ve got boxer Gary Russell, Jr., gymnast Justin Spring, swimmer Kate Ziegler, former Howard University hurdler David Oliver, wrestler Brad Vering (an American University assistant coach) and rowers Sam Stitt, David Banks and Guiseppe Lanzone. Awaiting word is Freddie Adu and several local kayakers.

2) Have to wonder what Reston distance runner Alan Webb will do next after he finished fifth in the 1,500-meter final Sunday night in Oregon.

3) What NBC wants, NBC  gets. That’s why the swimming and gymnastics finals will be starting at 10 a.m. Beijing time (10 p.m. on the East Coast).

4)What I’ve been told about the weather in Beijing: It’s going to be like Houston in August.

Ryan O’Halloran