October 2010 Archives
So I am finished with my competition. On Tuesday, I competed in the men's 10-metre synchro with Kevin Geyson. We really wanted a medal in this event and we placed third. For our first competition, we did very well. We have lots of room for improvement, which makes things interesting to see how far we can go.
Delhi, India - OK, so I have to make an apology. As my family well knows, I don't always admit when I'm wrong, but I think it's unavoidable in this case.
I started this blog by writing:
"I don't generally associate India with raging athletic prowess. Besides the country's cricket team, a handful of wrestlers and a couple wealthy shooters (with their own private shooting ranges), India rarely makes an impact on the international level."
My muddy adventure started in Amritsar, in the province of Punjab and one of the hotspots for wrestlers in India.
I soon learned that the game actually has no rules or time limit. It's just one on one, heaving, grunting and grabbing until one wrestler ends up literally in the mud. In the olden days, wrestlers could even fight until death.
"Not now. Not yet." I told myself. There was still work to be done; I still had to fight for the win and the chance to reach the medal rounds over world No. 3 and local superstar Saina Nehwal.
In the floodlights of central Delhi's Dhyan Chand National Stadium on Sunday, the air was thick with nationalism (and grasshoppers).
Among the crowd were little old ladies with their faces painted and young boys zipping around with orange, white and green Indian flags.
Fourth place is kind of bitter sweet in alot of ways. As an athlete, it sucks a lot because you were just out of the medals. But it's also good because you were that close.
I'm writing now from the airport in Delhi, on my way home already. This is the first moment in six hours that I've had a chance to reflect since my race and actually look at my bronze medal from the men's 1500-metre wheelchair race.
The individual badminton tournament is now well underway and Canadians are doing great so far.
As my roomie Grace Gao tried to get her mind off the competition for a short while, she asked me how the Commonwealth Games compare to the Olympics.
Over the course of our conversation I came up with five differences that I've noticed, based on my experiences at the Athens and Beijing Olympics, and the Melbourne and Delhi Commonwealth Games.
I actually woke up at 6:40 a.m, but I can't sleep in so I figured that this would be a good time to blog.
"That's mallakhamb," a passerby told me, noticing my hypnotic fixation on the horizon. I had never heard the word. "Indian traditional pole gymnastics," he explained.
The only wild card is the track surface. I think everyone was expecting it to be fast, but it's actually one of the softest and slowest tracks I have ever been on.
After arriving here in Doha, Qatar on the 29th of September, we're winding down our training camp where we could take a week to train and get more accustomed to the time zone in India.
This week has been a really good week for training and preparation for our competition.
The driver, named Raj, turned back towards me with a smile "Welcome to Delhi, this is great city."
I never thought those words would sound so sweet, but after more than 35 hours of travel they absolutely did. There were about 30 Canadian athletes, coaches and journalists on board representing the sports of badminton, squash, athletics, cycling, shooting and weightlifting.
The idea of arriving in the Commonwealth Games village makes me feel excited **and** nervous. None of us really know what to expect when we get there.
Unfortunately, my recent trip to Germany for the Berlin Marathon was full of little disasters.
And I'm really excited to see these "guardian monkeys" that have been in the news lately.
LOTHAL, GUJARAT - The Commonwealth Games disappeared from the headlines yesterday to make way for a ruling in one of India's longest and most impassioned legal, political, historical and socio-religious debates.
In short, Hindus and Muslims have been fighting in India for hundreds of years. And the Indian city of Ayodhya, northeast of the capital Delhi, has come to embody this ongoing conflict.
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