Hello again everybody! This past Wednesday marked 100 days until the opening ceremonies of the 2012 London Olympic Games. It's hard to believe that we are already so close. Our sense of urgency continues to grow as the summer quickly approaches.
Last weekend we got the opportunity to connect with some of our fans around Southern California. All members of the Men's and Women's National Teams were dispatched to various malls throughout the area in order to participate in a promotional event. The players were available for autographs, photos, and chatting, while guests were also able to participate in activities like face painting, crafting, and hula hooping. We also distributed promotional material as well as lots of samples of pistachios!
At my mall, located in Brea, we greeted fans nonstop for 2 hours. It was great to see so many people who had come out just to see us. We made some new friends of the sport, while showing those already involved in water polo just how far their dreams (and pistachios!) might take them. All in all, it was a fun event and we were glad to participate.
Next up for our team is a trip to Belgrade, Serbia. Later today we will be making the long trip over the Atlantic bound for Eastern Europe. The aim of this trip is to gain some valuable training time against one of the strongest club teams in the world called Partizan. It's a short trip, lasting only a week, but these opportunities are extremely important, giving us a chance to compete against opponents other than ourselves. Also, I find that these types of trips often bring the team closer together.
At the moment our team includes 16 members. Last month we had to let 2 players go. This process is a painful but inherent part of any team sport. By the end of next month we will be down to 14 before naming the final roster of 13 in June. But for now we are 16 strong headed to get some good water polo in Serbia. Hope everyone packed their pistachios!