Today was all about team bonding and training. As we were sitting down for breakfast we saw the Poland team out for their morning run. It was like a sea of red tracksuits. All the countries are walking around in groups and it can be pretty intimidating but I’m sure the Canadian team is just as intimidating. Canada actually has the second largest team after New Zealand which is pretty impressive. We all received our official photo passes that we have to wear everywhere. It’s great getting to know some of my teammates more. The team is spread out from coast to coast so we don’t see each other that often and when we do we are usually competing against each other so the circumstances are different.
After the weight-ins the athletes were dying for some food. We found a great cookie shop and had to have a few.
We found our favorite pasta place. the owner made sure we had some good carbo loading.
We had our first team training in the arena. I focused on my sparring and tomorrow I will focus on patterns. I really haven’t had as much sparring as I would have liked in the last few weeks. First because I was so sick and second it’s not a good idea to train to rough before a competition like this in case of injury. I was a bit disappointed when I saw the competition schedule since the junior girls compete in sparring before the patterns. I’ve never done that before. I’m glad I know this in advance so I can get in the right head space for the sparring first. I’ll have to make sure I’m really warmed up well. There is a lunch break before patterns so I will have time to regroup and settle mentally for patterns. I’m very excited to see the opening ceremonies as well. It will be cool to march in with my team mates. Apparently there will be a ‘live feed’ on the official website as well.
Today I also went for a nice walk with two teammates down at the waterfront. We actually saw team Australia and we chatted with them for a bit. Then later on, we saw a teenage dragon boat team for NZ who were really interested in what we were doing. It all becomes more real when you see the teams from other countries and then talk to strangers about what we are here for. I’m usually not nervous until the day of the competition, but the nerves are starting to surface a little bit. I’m just so excited to be here. I’m having the time of my life and no matter the outcome, I’m having a blast and this is the greatest experience I could ever ask for.