Our stay in China was an experience in itself, getting to understand the culture was hard at times but by the end of the week we learnt alot, saw alot and definitely understood much more about the unique Chinese culture. The people are fantastic and we felt like royalty with our police escorts, security at our hotel and the Chinese army at all three of our games against the Chinese national team.
The Chinese were very strong with six Beijing Olympians, but we stepped up to the challenge in our first game and held on to win by one point in an exciting and hard fought match. Game two and three were also tough contests and came down to the wire. We just fell short but the experience of playing such a quality team definitely helped us for the coming European leg of the tour. We have a new and young team and these kind of matches are exactly what we need.
After 30 hours of travel we finally arrived in Milan, Italy to be greeted by the AIS staff working in Varese. We had a short trip to Varese where we currently are now. We are here for a 3 day training camp, in preparation for our two games against the Czech national team and a tournament in Paris. The team is working very hard, we have some big matches coming up and we want to show what the Opals are made of.
We are lucky (or not) enough to have 3 mini vans to drive ourselves around this beautiful little Italian village. It didn’t take long to realise the one assistant coach, who shall remain nameless had not done a hill start in a while holding up traffic in the town centre, while another assistant coach attempted to take out the third vehicle. The driving skills, like our team performance has come a long way in a short time so we are now comfortable on the drive to training.
Well it is good bye from us as we prepare for tough contests against the Europeans, starting with the Czech Republic tonight.
Elyse and Abby