Long Beach Grand Slam

This is my second time in Cali and every time I visit I totally picture myself living here at some point in my life.  I’m not the biggest fan of huge crowds, which was present the day we trained at Huntington – it was the US Open of Surfing, pretty busy scene – but I think I’d be ok with the crowded beaches for a chance to live near where you have it all; amazing views, tons of beach courts, and waves that are littered with surfers everywhere you look.  Can I surf? Definitely…not!  Actually I’ve never even come close to successfully surfing a wave, but just to have the option to surf without a 3 hour+ drive would be rad.

We’re staying in Costa Mesa at Brad Keenan and April Ross’s place, they were kind enough to offer their home to us till the event starts.  Yesterday we all hit April’s old high school for a solid lifting session – we were told it was a public high school, but only in the states do public school looks like this one – below are some shots from inside the weight room.  There were 12 olympic lifting platforms and although it remained unchanged for the past 20 years it was still the best gym I’ve ever been in – had everything I would ever need, not to mention no waiting for a free platform to lift on!

note the name on the 5kg plate ;) best brand name I’ve ever seen!

We drove up to the venue in Long Beach earlier today for our last heavy practice before the tournament.  Tomorrow the qualifier begins, normally we would be taking part but luckily this time around we slid straight into the main draw after a handful of withdrawals from main draw teams.  It was pretty relieving to watch our rank get higher and higher in the qualifier as each day passed then finally see us move up into the main draw a few days ago.

So the tournament for us begins Tuesday.  The tournament draw and results can be found here but won’t be posted until Monday evening: http://bit.ly/17wCiOh

There are two Canadian teams in the main draw here, us and Chaim/Ben.  As well as two teams in the qualifier, DeBruyn/Fecteau-Boutin and Pedlow/O’gorman.  On the girls side there’s Jamie/Kristina in the main draw, and Sarah/Heather, Pischke/Humana-Paredes, and Hamer/Altomare in the qualifier.

This is the first time in 10 years that the FIVB has held an event in the USA and I’m pretty sure I speak for all Canadian teams when I say it’s about time!  The 2.5hr flight from Vancouver to LA was amazing, but it’ll be short lived as next week we cross the Atlantic Ocean for the fourth time this year en route to Berlin.