I Know that the World championships are over and I have been back in Canada for 3 days already. The truth is that I have not written since day 14. The day that everything that seemed so good went so bad. The reason I have not written is because I tried to refocus while hard circumstances were happening. Now that it is over. I owe everyone the rest of the journey. As I am writing this, waiting at Toronto Island after a whole day at a press conference for the Canadian Paralympic Committe (CPC) and Own The Podium (OTP) because my flight is delayed by 2 hrs, I decided to just do that. Write the rest of the World Championships Story. As I remember, I left of on day 14. The Day that the Koalas and Kangaroos defeated the Beavers by breaking down their damn which let the water pour out into havoc. Thats right, On that day, we played our nemesis Australia. That game was the last game of the first round. The game was to decide who was going to finish first in our pool. The Aussies or the Canucks. Earlier that day, in the other conference, the home team Great Britain faced another of our rivals, our brothers the UNITED STATES for the same outcome than our game. It was for who would finish first on their side. And Great Britain won that number one spot and the US would finish second in their conference. This finish would determine the final placements on their side. Later that day, it was up to us now to determine the same.
The Australia game was touch like always. They play a very aggressive type of play. A few weeks ago in the BT Paralympic Cup, we were able to defeat Australia with a certain game plan. This time, for a reason that I still don’t understand, we did not use the same game plan and Australia defeated us. They stepped all over us. They bullied us to the ground. In the pre-game, we kept talking about keeping our composure against Australia because we know how aggressive they play, and sometimes, even outside the rule book. We emphasis composure so we dont get distracted and loose our cool. The problem with that, as I have seen it before on this team, is that most players on this team don”t really understand what composure means. Most of our guys let themselves get bullied on by lowering their intensity and arousal level to the point where they think they are not letting Australia get into their heads but at the same time their focus is not the same. Their not Playing ball anymore. Keeping composure means keep playing harder, stronger, more intense without loosing control mentally. WE have as a team look into the bullies eyes and push back. Thats how anyone can defeat a bully. Anyways, we lost that game which put us on the 2nd place of our pool. The lost was hard on the spirit of the team but that lost could of been to our advantage we thought. The reason was because if everything kept going as plan, we should meet Great-Britain in the semis instead of the US. And we prefer that scenario because we struggle more against the US than GB. The problem with that thinking is that people overlooked the quarter-finals.
DAY 15: OFF DAY
On this day, we had a off day. We did however had an optional practice.
On this day, I was still disapointed on our lost but refocused for the next day. We were going to play Italy in the Quarter Finals.
This day was pretty relaxed, we went to the mall again, watch team video on our lost against Australia and went to bed.
Day 16: Happy Birthday Dirt well……
The morning of the sixteenth day I woke up and went to breakfast and noticed that our hotel room door was filled with balloons and ribbons wishing my roommate Dirt a happy Birthday. The decorations was installed by my long lasting friend Sab who happens to be Dirt’s Wife ( I’m a great matchmaker) and his daughter Chelsea. We had breakfast and we had a early team video session with game plan versus Italy. The day was going great so far until something weird happen. When we started our game, I knew something was wrong. Everyone was out of sync in the warm up. Players were goofing around, not focused and not communicating. I tried to bring the intensity up by talking more and asking people to focus and start talking more and some players sarcasticly did it which got me very mad. I had a gut feeling that something bad was going to happen and that gut feeling happened to be right. As the game started, we were suppose to run a 2-play right from the start but things all scrambled up as players werent focused. We had a aweful start which would summarize the rest of the game and resulted into a embarassing lost to Italy. A team that we destroyed the week before and this time would eliminate us from the medal rounds. Canada, the most dominating team for the last decade was out. At this moment, we were officially, FORMER WORLD CHAMPIONS. The nightmare began and was far from over.
Right now I have to board the plane, but I will be back soon to continue this nightmarish world championships.