Field Hockey Hits the Ground Running

Aug. 04, 2008, 8:43 a.m. (ET)

The U.S. Olympic Team for Women’s Field Hockey took to the pitch Monday for their first training session in Beijing, less than 24 hours after arriving at the Olympic Village.  USA Field Hockey competes in the Olympic Games for the first time since 1996, so there’s a need to make up for lost time.

“There’s nothing like the first training run on your Olympic pitch,” said Head Coach Lee Bodimeade, as the team ran through various shooting and passing drills.

The training session was the first opportunity for the team to visit the Olympic Green Hockey Stadium, the official venue for field hockey in Beijing. Final preparations are being made to the facility even as the teams begin their training regiments.

 “We’re very happy with the facilities,” Bodimeade said. “The pitch is great, the stadium is extremely nice, and I’m looking forward to seeing our team run out on the field for our first game.”

Despite the marathon 12-hour flight from San Francisco to Beijing and quick turnaround time on the ground, Bodimeade was confidant his team was ready to take the field.

“We’re good,” said Bodimeade. “We did a couple of things on the flight [to counter jet lag], as well as when we arrived last night, so we’re in pretty good shape.”

The U.S. Olympic Team for Women’s Field Hockey practices daily at the Olympic Green Hockey Stadium until competition begins. On Thursday, August 7, the U.S. will hold a practice match with Korea at the Olympic Sports Center Hockey Stadium at 7:30 pm. Players and coaches will be available for interview following practice.

They opens Olympic Games competition on Sunday, August 10 against 2007 Pan American Games champions Argentina. The United States is slotted in Pool B with Argentina, Germany, Great Britain, Japan and New Zealand.     

For more information about the U.S. Olympic Team for Field Hockey, visit

For more information on USA Field Hockey, visit