Saturday, May 10, 2008

Enjoying My Time Off But Olympics On My Mind

Hello Everyone.

The past two weeks have been really nice for me. My friend Sarah from Canada came to visit me for 2 weeks to celebrate my Olympic qualification. She was living with me in my room in Saarbrucken for the last 2 years. As you can imagine, we became very good friends after living in such a small room together, playing all the tournaments, training, and eating every meal together. I was really excited that she could come back and celebrate qualification with me, as we have been through so much and now it is finished, and she is here to be with me and my family and friends at this special time.

First we celebrated in Saarbrucken, with some friends, other athletes from different sports at OSP. Then, Sarah and I drove the 5 hours to Brig, for more celebration with my family. My family had a big family lunch at a very nice hotel in Brig. We had a whole room to ourselves, and we were able to all come together to enjoy each other and I was happy that I had the chance to celebrate 2 long years with my whole family who have supported me so much.

Then, Sarah and I went up to my families flat in Zermatt. It is in the mountains about 45 mins away. You have to take a train up into the town. It is a ski resort, and home to the famous Swiss mountain, the Matterhorn. We were there for 4 days, and I continued to do some rehabilitation training while I was there. I also played a game of tennis for fitness, and we just enjoyed the town, and the sun. It was very hot, and it was fun to sit outside with the unbelievable view, have a cold drink, and catch up with my friend.

We came back on the train to Brig on Friday morning, and I was very busy getting ready for my towns sports awards. I spent the day with Sarah, my sister, and my mother, preparing for the evening. It started just outside of the towns centre, and there was a parade into the main square. It was a traditional Swiss parade from my region, with people dressed up in traditional outfits from the region, drums, and flutes. I was a little nervous and felt embarrassed to be in the parade, but luckily my good friend, Silvain Zubringgen, who is a world cup skier, also from my town, was there. So, I got to walk beside him in the parade, and that was fun to joke around with him. Than, I was presented with an athlete of the year award, and had to answer some questions in an interview in front of the whole town. There were dance groups performing, and also some traditional accordion Swiss music. It was a lot of fun to see familiar faces from my home town, and have my family there supporting me. It was also special to have Sarah there, taking pictures, as she has never seen this traditional Swiss celebration before, and it was cool to show her what it is like to be the going to the Olympics and the support I have received from my small town.

Today I am driving Sarah back to Frankfurt. Tomorrow she flies back home to Canada. Then, I am going to spend one day with my friends in Frankfurt, before I go on holidays with my mom to Tunis. I am so excited to get 1 week break with just my mom on the beach. I have been living away from home for quite a few years now, and it is really nice to have some special time with her, and to travel with her without my badminton rackets. I will continue to do some fitness on my holidays, but none of it will be on court. When I get back from this holiday I know I will be fresh, and ready to start my hard preparation for the Olympics.

Talk Soon Everyone


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Euro Defeat but plenty to be positive about

Hello Everyone,

Yesterday I played the 1st round of the Europeans in Denmark and I had a good win over Katrin Atlodottir of Iceland 21-14 21-13. I played really well and controlled the match from the start. That match set me up for today’s second round tie against world number 14 Juliane Schenk of Germany.
Unfortunately I lost in two straight sets 21-18 21-15. But I played really well and in the first set I had a great opportunity to take the set after I got it back to 18-18 after being 17-12 behind. But mentally I was not strong enough and this is the part of my game I need to work on most of all.
The second set she got off to the better start and I was playing catch up all the time and I never managed to close the gap on her and was always just that couple of points behind.
But I have not played much lately with my injury and this is my first tournament since the Swiss Super Series so I can take many positives out of this about my game. I just need to be more mentally in tune and I know I can win matches like this.

That’s all for now


Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Euro Build Up

Hello Everyone,

This has been a really busy week for me as I prepare for the European Championships next week. Each day this week I have had intense on court sessions followed by gym work. I have to build up my back muscles again after this injury so all the gym work is necessary in order to do that.
The on court work primarily focus’s on match training which for me has been very good as I like to play and train on court with shuttles. Most evenings I have spent just chilling out or going to cinema.
The weekend coming I will hit the sauna for a few sessions and then on Monday I head back to Frankfurt and on Tuesday its bags packed again and off to Copenhagen and onto Herning for the European Championships.
I hope to be able to keep you all informed about my progress there. Hopefully I have some good wins and performances to tell you all about.

Until then take care


Thursday, April 3, 2008

The European Championships

Hello Everyone,

The Europeans Championships are almost here and the draw has been released. I have got a pretty good opening round match against the world number 292 player Katrin Atladottir. I am confident going into this game and I hope to do well in that match. If i win my opening game I have a much tougher match in the second round. I more than likely will have to play the world number 14 Julia Schenk of Germany. She is a top class player and is showing great form at the moment but I don't have anything to fear. I know if I compete and perform to the best of my ability I can beat any player on any given day.
As of now I am not looking past the first round. I'm 100% focused on that game now and who knows what is in store after that. Training is going well at the moment and I feel in good shape and good form.
I just looking forward to the competition now


Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Its Physio Time

Hi Everyone,

I’m at home in Switzerland now. My Friend Johanna arrived at the weekend and we had a nice time catching up and went out and had some fun.
On Sunday we went for a nice long walk as the weather was beautiful then home for a quick shower and on the road for the 3 hour drive to Switzerland.
Yesterday I had an early 9.30am appointment with my physio. We focused on exercises to mobilise my back followed by some head and electrotherapy. Yesterday afternoon I started an exhausting gym programme that my physio formulated for me. After that I did some shuttle work so it was a tough day all round after my break at the weekend.
After training I drove to Basel to meet and catch up with a few more friends while I’m back home.

That’s all for now.


Friday, March 28, 2008

A few Days Rest

Hello Everyone,

It’s Friday and as promised here is the first instalment of my ‘life of Jeanine’ blog. So as I’m new to this please excuse me if I jump back and forward a bit. It has been an interesting few days.
On Wednesday I woke up at 7.45am. I had breakfast and got myself prepared for Max test at 9am. I had to do a series of leg extension, shoulder exercises and hamstring curls. After that I went back to the Hall at the Saarbrucken centre of excellence and played some matches and multi shuttle drills. That took me up to 11.30am. After that I did sprints in combination with stomach and back exercises. The evening was then spent with some friends as we went and had a pizza after looking at some DVD’s.

Yesterday I had a pretty easy morning so I had the opportunity to catch up on some sleep. I have a few days off so when I got up I took the opportunity to clean my room a bit and went and did a bit of biking just to loosen out my legs. I’m a bit of a soap opera fan so I got to watch all of them in the afternoon. I went to my friends in the evening to indulge in some card games and a chat and after that it was bed for me.

Today is exciting for me as my best friend Johanna is coming tonight. I have not seen her in three weeks so I’m really looking forward to spending some time with her. We will drive back to Frankfurt tomorrow and then on Monday I’m going home to Switzerland for some rehabilitation training to try and cure my ongoing knee and back problems. My specialist is there so I can have intense treatment twice a day.

That’s all for now my friends. I will be back soon with an update.


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Welcome to my Blog

Hello Everyone,

I'm Jeanine Cicognini and I come from Switzerland. Im a professional badminton player and I am currently working towards the Olympics in Beijing this coming August. I am almost qualified but like most players I am just waiting for the final list to be published in May.

I have been runner up in the 2005 Portugeuse and Bulgarian opens as well as the Hungarian Open 2007. This year I reached the quarter final of the Malaysian Super Series and an immediate ambition for me is to win my first major ranking event. Im currently training at the BWF's centre of excellence in Saarbruken, Germany. Previously I trained at the IBA in Denmark. Recently I was featured in an article by Badzine. You can see the article at in the features section.

I hope to give you an insight into my world of badminton by updating this blog regularily and please feel free to leave a comment and I will do my best to reply.

Thank you all for your interest.