Sketches from Shenzhen

Long breaks in heptathlon competition schedules are perfect opportunities to put pen to paper. Watching lines flow out from behind a pen is an almost necessary mental release after being incredibly engaged during intense competition, in preparation for events still to come.

When a nap eluded me in the middle of Day 1 at the 2011 FISU World University Games, I reclined on some mats in the starkly white multi event room somewhere deep within the stadium, and drew.

The image above depicts my lounging socked feet and my name written repeatedly in Mandarin, during attempts to memorize the symbols. I’d be surprised if it still accurately says “zhan ni fo” as I was taught most closely resembles the phonetics of my name, and not some morphed unintelligible version…

The first several images in the gallery below are from the same training/competition log: wolves accompanying some track and field technical cues and my reflections from portions of the competition. The final few images are from another notebook: my view of the village and stadium from my apartment balcony (the stadium is the funky building in the left background), a bonsai tree from the Cultural Centre, and more Mandarin symbol-writing practice.

Before I knew it, wolves appeared in my training log during a quiet moment between events.
Ears and eyes are my favourites.

Prehep focus session…and another eye.

The (slightly warped) Athlete’s Village (stadium in the left background!) and a FISU luggage tag…Start Here, Make a Difference.
A pretty bonsai tree in the Cultural Centre where we learned some Mandarin.
Zhan ni fo

The FISU Summer Universiade is the second largest sporting event in the world (next only to the Olympics) with almost 10,000 athletes from 150 countries taking part. Every single detail, from the accreditation process upon arrival, to the apartments, cafeterias, opening and closing ceremonies, and the competitions themselves culminated in an incredible experience. For a glimpse into the atmosphere in the stadium, check out a past blog post.

More FISU Adventures

Another great day!!!

Hep tomorrow…


Trackies go to a Basketball Game

It was really cool competing in the stadium last night! The lights made it as bright as day (and as hot) and the seats were surprisingly full. The sound pouring down to the track surface swelled to a movie-worthy roar whenever a Chinese athlete cleared the bar in the men’s high jump, or moved up to lead a middle distance race. I found my eyes flitting all over, from the crowds to the races to the video camera gliding by overhead and the little flock of birds restlessly hanging around the field that probably nested in the walls and whom we were keeping up past their bedtimes. In hindsight, I was likely a little tense and more in an observing mode than an attack mode. I am glad to say I was successful in fully taking in the entire experience, but as is the case with most things, a fine balance must be achieved, and will be achieved come the start of the heptathlon on Friday!

So in lieu of a long jump final tonight, I joined a group of other athletes and went to watch team Canada play basketball. We missed the single “spectator” bus from the athlete’s village so had to carve our own path…turns out we’re pretty much experts at it.

We were only gone a few hours but it felt like days…

Zhu ni haoyun (Good luck!)

 Long jump tonight! Excited to jump but perhaps more excited to see the inside of the stadium!!! Nevermind, more excited to jump. Duh.
We had a team photo taken yesterday (I didn’t add my camera to the mountain of everyone else’s cameras, but will get a copy soon!). Here are a couple shots of the multieventers (we’re so cool):

 Also, I spoke with a hurdler from Paraguay who’s trip consisted of four flights, TWO of which were 11 hours long. Eeeee. I don’t feel so bad about my mosquito bites anymore…

I hope all is well with you and yours!!!