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