Friday, August 15, 2008

Aug 8th - Aug 15th , Opening Ceremonies And tournament

So First off I just want to say that I really don’t have that much time to do all the blogging I wanted to do, so sorry to everyone for not getting this up here until now, Anyways so ill start back at the opening ceremonies and catch everyone up to what I have been up too. So the opening ceremonies was pretty cool, the only bad part about it was that we didn’t see any of it lol, no seriously we didnt get to see any of it!!. All the athletes got on buses here at the village and went over to the gymnastics venue – to wait until it was time to march in and Canada being the 63rd country to come in because of the Chinese alphabet, we ended up waiting a while. We actually had to wait outside of the birds nest(the big stadium) until it was our time to walk in, and it was so hot outside that everyone was soaked in sweat – good thing for me because I had to cut a little weight and I actually ended up losing 2kg over the time we were waiting and walking.Anyways so once we got into the tunnel it started to feel like the Olympics, all the Canadians starting singing our national anthem, we could see the crowd and everyone on the field who was already out there, and that’s when I started feeling a true Olympian, and you know, now that I am done my competition and I’ve had time to reflect on things I do realize that not everyone gets a chance to experience what I already have in my young career. You know I’ve been to 30 plus countries, I’ve represented my country on the biggest stage, and it’s something very special that you have to experience to understand. Anyways so the opening was pretty awesome, walking in to a stadium with 90,000 plus people who are watching and cheering and about 30,000 volunteers, 10,000 athletes who were also in the building – the place was packed. So the Chinese def went all out for these openings, with how they started the opening ceremonies to the lighting of the torch to even the massive fireworks display they had and the end. After the opening we were pretty tired and Frazer(Frazer did not do the opening obviously) was fighting the next day so as soon as we got back we went to bed, because I had to get up earlier to warm up Frazer.

Day 1 – 60kg

So on this day we had our 60kg player, which we didn’t know would actually be our best result of the games, Frazer started with the world champion and ended up losing a close match but the world champ did what he had to do and made it to the semi finals, which in turn pulled Frazer back into the Draw and also gave him a shot for bronze. Frazer ended up winning 2 matches in a row, one against the Greek player and also one against the Venezuela player. That put Frazer into the semi finals to Bronze, where he Fought against the Uzbekistan player, Frazer fought really good and almost smashed him for Ippon – which is a full point! But the guy ended up getting off of it and won with a small yuko score, making Frazer’s final result 7th. After Frazer’s day I went back to the athletes village to go for my run and cut some weight with Sasha, after getting my weight down to 1kg over, I went to get some dinner and went to bed.

Day 2 – 66kg

Today it was Sasha’s turn to fight, he opened the tournament up with a win against Ecuador who Sasha has beaten a number of times, the Ecuadorian was going all out though so Sasha had to be more careful this time not to make a mistake. After winning this match he was up against the French fighter who he beat at the world championships last year, this time the tables turned with the French winning a very close match, only scoring a koka on a little mistake that sasha made.The French then had the Russian in the quarter finals, meaning that if Sasha had a chance to win the Bronze he would need the French to win his next match, it was an intense fight but the French pulled it out by throwing the Russian for ippon in the dying seconds. As you can see Judo is a funny sport, there is no way that the favourite to win will win, and over the entire tournament world and Olympic champs have lost first round numourous times! and of course you have also seen people who don’t normally place at big tournaments come away with medals.

Anyways back to Sasha, so Sasha was now matched up against the Moroccan guy who is not that good so we were not to worried about this match , we were more looking forward to seeing Sasha fight the Russian. Sasha ended up smashing the guy for wazari and then held him down for ippon putting him up against the Russian who Sasha also had beat before at a previous event. This match was a very intense match with the Canadians cheering sasha on. Sasha dominated the pace of the match and in turn scored a koka against the Russian, but with 7 sec left Sasha was penalized for a false attack making the score even and pushing it into overtime. In overtime Sasha made a crucial mistake and gave his right sleeve to the Russian which ended up costing him the match, because the Russian caught him with a throw for ippon in the first exchange of Overtime. This match however had some very bad mistakes from the ref and everyone in the building felt that sasha had scored on more than one occasions during regulation, so the match really should have never went into overtime, none the less sasha ended up taking a 9th place finish. After Sasha’s loss I headed back to get myself ready for the next day, I had a little weight to cut so that I could eat dinner, but after finishing dinner it was back to my room for a good nights sleep.

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