Sunday, March 8 – Day 1
Fitbit steps: 21,053 (8.8 miles)
Team fun fact learned: several of our players started playing ultimate in high school, but for Kristen Franke and myself, this was our first team and grass sport.
Results: USA 12 – Germany 8
International Women’s Day. I felt very lucky today to be able to celebrate this day by showcasing our sport in front of such a great crowd. When I was a kid in Russia, my dad always brought flowers for me and my mom on this day, but for whatever reason it’s not a holiday really celebrated in the States.
We started the day off by meeting on the fields at 6:45am, the only time slot we could get for practice. Captain Nora led us through a longer version of the warm up we’ll be doing before each game and then we got our bodies moving again after all the travel with a breakmark drill and a huck drill. For breakfast, we found an IHOP, which was perfect because we were starving. French toast, eggs, beef bacon, hash browns and coffee.
The jet lag started to hit around noon (midnight for our bodies). We were able to take a quick nap and then headed back down to the beach for opening ceremonies. A lot of curious beach goers seemed quite confused why all of these countries were marching through their vacations. My team pulled out of the march before the United States was called into the stadium because we had to warm up for the showcase.
The game itself was fantastic. Big bids, smooth offense, great defensive pressure on both sides and, most importantly, very clean. The few fouls that did occur were talked out quickly, even with any language barrier that was there. One thing our captains told us before the game was to take in all of the noise and excitement of the crowd, the cheering, the announcing, the possible heckles and to transform it into pure defensive concentration on our woman. Take in all of the information through the ears, and channel it out through the eyes.
Monday, March 9 – Day 2
Fitbit steps: 15,084 (6.2 miles)
Team fun fact learned: Rohre/Q’s dad panics if you hand him a smart phone for a photo
Results: USA 10 – Canada 8, USA 13 – United Arab Emirates 2
Today was a two game day for us that didn’t start until noon, giving us plenty of time to sleep in, cook breakfast, and cheer on the women’s masters team before having to warm up.
Canada was a great game for us. It’s fun to see so many of our friends on the other side of the world. They ran hard and really tested our marks as well. The game ended in a spirit circle in the ocean. Two hours later we got to play the host team, UAE. The story behind that team is great. One of the women just took initiative and created a women’s team when she found out Dubai was hosting. Some of the women on the team have only been playing for 6 months and yet here they are playing at Worlds!
Parting thought: the most surreal thing about this tournament so far are the camels being walked along the beach.