Today we also had another day without Judo – some people who have been reading my blog know that we didn’t have Judo 2 days ago either and may think that we are crazy for missing practice with the Olympics coming up next week. Well right now it is not about getting lots and lots of rounds in and having long hard practices, it’s too late for anyone to get in any better shape. One of my favourite quotes is “If you fail to prepare, prepare to fail” and I really think it is true. Right now I am as ready as I am going to be, I have done the 7am runs, the 2 day a trainings, the weight room circuits - I’ve done all the intense long work outs that I needed to do. All that is left is some fine tuning, and getting myself mentally and physically ready to compete on the 11th. This means that we have to get a lot of rest! But when we do actually train it is at 100%, as hard as you can go, every second of the match to try and simulate a real round at the Games.
Instead of Judo I decided to go for run because I still do need to work out to keep my weight down, after my run we had a team meeting – just going over everything that we need to get done tomorrow - checking in to the athlete’s village and everything related to the Olympics etc. Tomorrow I will get my first exposure to the Olympic scene, it shouldn’t be too much of a shock because I have been to Pan Am Games as well as Francophone Games before so everything should be very similar within the village, the only thing that will be a lot different will be how much media there will be. Not only in and around the village but the reporters will be right there after every match you have so you have to be prepared, win or lose to deal with the media and to make sure you are professional about it, no flying off the handle if you had a bad match etc.
This afternoon we decided since it was our last day that we would head off to the beach – which is only one train stop away, so it’s pretty close. The weather today was overcast but still nice and hot so we had a great time just relaxing by the beach for the afternoon. Like I said before Judo is a very popular sport here, everyone knows what Judo is, and they also know a lot of the top players because they are superstars here. I happen to have a Kanji (Japanese writing) tattoo of Judo on my shoulder so after people saw that I had it, we were instant celebrities. People would come up to me all afternoon asking me questions about where we are from etc, and once they found out that we were going to the Olympics they all wanted to be our friends. We were pretty much the center of attention on the entire beach, which was funny at times and a lot of fun. After the beach we headed back to the dorms to shower up and have the final Ping pong championship.
It was an 11 man draw and I started the day off with a bye having the winner between Sasha and Ewan. Sasha beat Ewan in a thriller and then was matched up against myself. I ended up beating him in 2 straight sets, putting myself in the semi finals vs. the winner of Frazer and Sergio. Frazer won that match 2-0 to advance to the semi final. On the other side of the draw saw Keith loose to Pat and Nico go down to the power house Mike. Making the semi final match ups set – Nick vs. Frazer and Mike vs. Pat.
Frazer beat me in 2 straight sets to advance to his first Grand slam final where he would wait to see who he would play coming from the other side. On the other side of the Draw – we saw Pat take apart the power house Mike in a dominating fashion. Making the final game, a possible instant classic. Coming back threw the repecharge Keith was on a missing beating 4 people in a row including myself to take the bronze medal, it wasn’t easy for him being down a set against both Mike and myself but he managed to come back from behind for the win. In the final Frazer won 2 sets to 1 in a wicked match that saw the three scores go to extra points. 22-20 Frazer. 26-24 Pat. 23-21 Frazer. It was everything we expected! Although I did not place I won a 10dollar bet from Keith because I said Frazer would win, so all is not lost :P..
After the ping pong we headed back to our rooms to pack up and get our stuff ready for travel day. We Didn’t watch any movies tonight, just went to bed after packing up. I don’t know if I will post a blog tomorrow seeing how it is our travel day but I will as soon as I get set up in the Village.