It was only a week and one day ago, but it feels so distant now. This is an English version of my impressions of last Sunday’s epic achievement by Brazil’s #Guerreiras. A team that has accomplished something even greater than being World Champions: gaining the support and admiration of people outside Brazil, including Argentinians 😉
As I walked back to my apartment from Republic Square, in Belgrade, I would think about how to put in words what I had experienced only hours before. Mission impossible. I knew words would never be enough to describe what had happened in Kombank Arena.
Denmark and Poland had fought for the bronze medal on the first game of the day, but I barely remembered it. The battle was tough and both teams were fierce on the court. The Polish lead on the first half and the Danish made a great effort on the second half to overcome the result and with a fantastic Kristina Kristiansen (MVP of the game) took the lead and stole the medal from the team commanded by Kim Rasmussen.
19.467 spectators showed up at Kombank Arena to support Serbia in the fight for the World Championship title. It was a new world record of attendance for a women’s handball match (a record that was broke three times during the tournament!). The crowd was overwhelmingly loud and we all knew it would be an exciting game. Brazil was the rival. The South Americans had already made history and chased away what they called “the ghost of quarter finals”. They had been eliminated on that stage in both the World Championship in Brazil 2011 (against Spain) and on the London 2012 Olympic Games (against Norway). This time they beat Hungary in QFs (in double extra time!!!) and Denmark in SFs. They were the second non-European team that had made it into the final of a WC (South Korea won it in 1995).
They say it all started in Africa. Well, a day like today, but three years ago, Spain lifted the golden trophy in Soccer City as the new World champions. A day like today but three years ago, I was in Johannesburg to witness it. It was an almost perfect end to a unique and unforgettable experience. If Argentina had been the champion, that would’ve been the cherry on top.
It’s July 2nd, 2010. It’s match day -1. The tickets for the Media have arrived for tomorrow’s game between Paraguay and Spain, a quarterfinals game. We sit in a room inside the Stadium Media Centre (SMC). Jorge gave us the list by which we have to classify the tickets. It includes the journos’ name, the media they represent and country. We have the envelopes and pens, we’re ready to work. Seguir leyendo “It’s match day minus one in Ellis Park”→
Laziness took over me this past week. Those, together with an overwhelming tiredness, were the reasons why I stopped writing about this exciting trip; the one that’s coming to an end right now, as I’m seating on this Airbus 340-600 with destination Buenos Aires.*
*I STARTED THIS POST WHILE I WAS ON THE PLANE, BUT IT WAS CLEARLY FINISHED ONCE I LANDED IN ARGENTINA.
And it’s not that I didn’t have anything to write about. They were three very challenging weeks for me, but at the end of the journey I can say I feel proud of myself. Not being egotistical, but I really pushed myself to the limit and I think it paid off. It was nice to hear that the journalists were happy with our help throughout the tournament. Some of them had even worked in Granollers during the first week of the competition and ‘stayed’ with us during until the very end. It was completely normal to see them every day and to assist them with various things, and now it’s all over (Me?, Tragical?)
I found out that internet is a very powerful tool; if it’s used in the correct way (I’m such a genious…). Blogging has been very cathartic for me and it started back in 2010, during the FIFA World Cup in South Africa. Being away from home made it difficult for me to let everyone know what was going on at that time, and I thought that writing a blog was the best way to express my emotions and to describe the amazing experiences I was going through.
I kept posting entries until a year after the final between Spain and Netherlands. Even though I would’ve loved to post more things while I was in South Africa, the lack of time wouldn’t let me do that, that’s why most of the posts were written when I was back in Argentina. So after the World Cup I only wrote again after being chosen as a Games Maker for the Summer Olympic Games in London and now, in Spain, I have this new chance to write again.
Wow, it took me aaaaaaaages to finish this post. It was so hard to write, so hard to explain how i’m feeling at the moment. It’s been more than a month since the last time that I stepped on British soil, and not one single day passed without me wanting to be back there. The places I’ve seen, the people I’ve met, the experiences shared (at least some of them) through this blog; it all looks so far away now. It’s as if it had happened ages ago. And it’s the exact same feeling I experienced when I came back from South Africa after my first volunteering experience.
Sometimes I struggle to focus at work; my mind is in London at all times. It might sound a bit exaggerated, but that’s how it feels. I’m sure that other Games Makers share the feeling. A part of me is empty, a part of me wanted the Olympic and Paralympic Games to last forever. And this is what my fellow World Cup volunteers and I named the “shappy” feeling, a mixture of being super sad because of the end of it all, and extreme happiness for having been fortunate enough for being part of it.