Words and images byLaura Crocker
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KARUIZAWA, Japan – Six games and six wins for Team Canada today!
We started early with a 7:00 am breakfast (which was delicious again, of course) and then we were off to the rink for Game 1 of our busy day. When arrived at to the rink we saw that a huge group of school kids had come out to watch, so I gave a couple of them little Canada flags... and before I knew it, I had hundreds of little hands reachingwildly to get a hold of anything Canadian!
We handed out more flags, tattoos and pencils, which made us the automatic favourite amongst the crowd. Every time I came down the ice to throw a stone they would wave their flags and cheer; even the kids who had Korean flags tattooed on their faces!
Korea was our first opponent of the day and the game was a real nail-biter. A shaky sixth end led to a Korean three-spot and put us down two playing the seventh of the eight-end game... however, we rallied for our deuce in seven and in the eighth, we forced the other skip to try to pick out our rock on the pin, of which she could see less than a quarter. She ticked the guard, and that gave us our first W.
We had a quick turnaround before our next match, just enough time to sit down for a bit and make peanut butter and banana sandwiches (yes!). Our second game was against Japan, who played really well and made it another really close finish. We were again down two playing the seventh... got our two back... and then found a way to steal the eighth. A bit of a pattern was shaping up for us and, to be honest, it was one we wanted to break – stealing the last end is tough work against such good teams!
We had a bit more time before our third game, so we made our way back to the hotel to relax for a while. We caught up with our family and friends back home online and then turned on the TV for some cheap entertainment. Today we watched what we think was a Japanese version of CSI, and it was definitely good for a few laughs.
Our third and final game of the day was against the Nagano Selection team, and this was the best performance we’ve strung together so far. A bit more of a cushion in the later ends made it not-so-stressful on those watching us! A four-point lead after the sixth put us in great shape to finish the game off. The boys' team also had three very close games today, stealing an extra-end in their first game and playing the eighth end up one with in both of their other games. Overall, it a great day to be Canadian in Karuizawa!
Our day ended with some Mr. Noodles and relaxation before heading to bed. Sarah poured the remainder of her noodles down the toilet, and in the process knocked the ashtray off the wall and into the toilet bowl. Fishing around in there was her nightmare but she managed to find it without flushing it down. Crisis averted!
Today we saw our faces on the front page of a Japanese newspaper, along with the group of children we taught a clinic to on Wednesday. It’s pretty neat, seeing your picture surrounded by mysterious text of a completely different language!
Tomorrow is a somewhat calmer day with only one game scheduled for us, around lunchtime. As always, I’m extremely excited for another amazing breakfast ;) and ready for another well-played game, this time against the Japan Selection team. After that match we’re hoping to go to the local Olympic museum, and then hot the shops at an awesome strip mall located not far from our hotel. Until then – sayōnara!