The second World Cup of the season was supposed to be an opportunity to build off of Palm Springs and apply the changes I'd made it workout. Unfortunately, and oddly, it went the other way. I had a real struggle through my semi-final. I swam on the slow end of what I would consider acceptable. I fenced poorly. And my run/shoot was nothing stellar. It's frustrating when the building blocks are in place and one has faith that the performance will follow, yet it is not in site. Last season I felt new highs and my goal was to retain the level I finished with. Sport is a fickle beast sometimes and nothing is promised. So yeah, I'm a bit down. There were pieces that were good and I will hold onto those and take them forward. That is where the lessons come from, and I have to believe I will find my stride. This was a huge World Cup and many strong athletes did not reach the final. I don't find solace in that, however, it is a reality.
Italy has been relatively warm otherwise. Sassari is on the island Sardinia. It sounds lovely and I'm sure the coastline is, but the city itself is fairly bland. Not a lot of culture or highlights. Good training facilities and it is clear they love sport here, which is nice. Having said that, everyone smokes! One thing I admire here, which is absent in Canada is sport on television. There are two stations in our hotel that show sport 24/7. They broadcast a ton of different events. I've seen professional volleyball, tennis, the shooting World Cup from Australia (had a couple friends there), running, table tennis, swimming (Italian Championships)·and so on. It is evident that sport is really appreciated here. This is entirely different than home, where few of these events would make TV, except for during the Olympics. I believe the sport network that was proposed, has hit roadblocks. I think it's a sad reflection that hockey receives the attention it does. Beyond games, the pre and post analysis, rumours, talk-jocks occupy so much of the media landscape. It's not that hockey is bad, it is obviously a great game. But it is a sad reflection on Canadian's that we eat this up unquestionably, while Italians demonstrate a broader appreciation for sport. Football is mad here, like hockey at home, so not everything is perfect; to avoid giving the wrong impression. However, I found it heart warming to see competitors on TV at a shooting event a world away from me, instead of more discussion on Iginla potentially leaving the Flames.
I guess that's it for now. I'll be sure to keep results forthcoming. Gotta go - World Qualifier for Swim World Championships just came on TV. Take care. Josh.