4 novembre 2011

The last words

I've been back from Guadalajara for a few days now and I've had the chance to reflect upon my 20 days at the Games. Multi-sports Games are the ultimate event athletes and coaches can attend during their career and in our sport, that opportunity doesn't present itself very often. Being around so many people from so many different countries and from so many other sports creates an atmosphere equal to none. It also creates a lot of distractions, which have to be overcome in order for athletes and staff to perform at the highest level possible. But in end, all that the Pan Am games throw at you constitutes a great preparation for the ultimate multi-sport experience that are the Olympic Games. And for that, both our teams have learned a great deal in Guadalajara.

Speaking of our teams, they both come back from Mexico having lost the war but winning a few battles in the process. 

Our women were able to beat Mexico in the 7th place final after losing the previous 2 meetings, including the loss for 5th place at the recent Norceca Championships. They were also able to push the Dominican Republic to 5 games by playing very well during the whole match. It will be interesting to see how the Dominicans fare at the World Cup, which starts today in Japan. Lupo's team showed flashes of greatness at times, but not consistently enough throughout. The future will tell if we learned our lesson.

Our (young) men's team also showed great promise. The team finished 6th overall, in front or Puerto Rico's and Venezuela's A teams. The win against the USA was undoubtedly the highlight of this tournament, while the loss to same team for 5th  place left everyone with a few regrets. But here again, there is a lesson to be learned…

I wish everyone could experience what I went through since October 11. I want to do this again, but I hope next time will be at the Olympics. 

I want to thank the Team Canada staff for their professionalism (Lupo, Scott, David, Ben, Vincent, Denis, Chris and Mathieu). I especially want to thank the COC and Brian Edey who made my job a lot easier. 

I'll leave you with 2 David Letterman's top 10 lists.

If you want to read my daily blogs from the beginning, click here: http://jeuxpanamgames.blogspot.com/

Hasta la vista, baby.

Our server at the Mexican restaurant
on the last 2 nights

10- Buenos dias
9- Please, wait 5 minutes
8- Do you have pins ?
7- Everybody here ?
6- Mé-hi-co…Mé-hi-co
5- What time is the bus ?
4- Let's go to Starbucks
3- Got any cash ?
2- What time do you play today ?

.. and the #1 thing heard the most often during the Games:

1- Do you have a pin?


10- Being able to walk to the Ceremonies
9- The quality of the volunteers at the Volleyball venue
8- The Canadian clothing
7- The friendliness of the volunteers
6- The little Mexican restaurant close to the Village (see picture)
5- Starbucks and Dominoes in the Village
4- The Canadian team spirit
3- Guadalajara's weather (sunny and dry)
2- The volleyball venue

… and the #1 greatest things about the 2011 Pan Am Games:

1- The efficiency of the Canadian Olympic Committee staff

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