Greetings from Greece, the true land of milk and honey! We are beginning to wrap up our three and a half week trip to Europe and enjoying our last few days here scrimmaging and training with the Greek team as they prepare for the upcoming qualification tournament. In just a few weeks now nine teams will play one another for their chance to get a spot at the London 2012 Games. Since Great Britain is the host country and will have a team, all of the other European teams will have to attend this tournament, that leaves four spots left for some of the best teams in the world (USA, Australia, China and Great Britain are the only teams thus far that have clinched a spot at the games). We are all excited to see how the tournament unfolds and learn against whom we will be playing in August!
Our time over here has been very productive—we wanted to play as many teams as possible while they are at their peak before heading into the qualification tournament. Our first stop was in Italy, where we spent ten days scrimmaging and playing three official games against the Italians. We won the first two games by one goal and tied the third. After our time in Italy was up, we flew to Russia where we played in a tournament against Greece, Holland, Spain, Russia and China. We won all of our games except to Spain (an upset 10-12) placing us second overall. Lastly, here we are finishing in Greece training and scrimmaging before we head home in two days.
Once we’re back, we have a brief break off before we are back into training and then headed over to London for a test tournament! That will be very exciting—it will give us not only an opportunity to see the venues and construction of the Olympic Village and Park, but we can play some games in the actual pool where we will compete in Olympics!! Also, we can do some sight-seeing so when we are back later in the summer we aren’t distracted by all of the sights to see.
It’s crazy to think that it is already April. Time is flying as it always does in an Olympic year, but we still have our eyes ahead of us and a lot of work to do! I’ll keep you posted on how everything unfolds.
Also, I want to mention that here in Greece I have been enjoying my pistachios with one of my favorite foods, Greek yogurt. I’ll take a handful down to breakfast with me each morning and mix it together with the yogurt and the honey—the combination of the salty pistachios and the sweet honey go perfectly with the tangy yogurt, I highly recommend it!!