Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Our Venue.

Our venue here in Brazil is in the Maracana Sports Complex. Which has the large soccer stadium (from opening ceremonies), an arena (for volleyball) and our outdoor pool.

This was a picture of it the first day we got here. They had not finished decorating the pool deck and you can not see the huge stadium of seats that is behind me.

It seats about 2,700 people. In our game against Brazil last night 2000 people came to cheer on the home team.
They did not exactly look like this.....

(That was the opening ceremonies crowd)

But they were loud non the less......until we started beating the Brazilians. Then is was the quietest I have ever heard it at the pool. I love Brazilian sports fans. They are passionate and boisterous, waving flags and dancing around. Whether they are cheering or jeering. It doesn't matter. They make a super crowd. !!!!

Fun in the pool.

I was trying to recall the last time I got in the pool to just fool around. Like.... no zipper suit. No whistles. No drills. No polo balls or goals.

Yesterday morning, instead of taking the hour long drive to the venue for practice, we made up our own circuit of dry-land exercises and then got in the pool to stretch out our legs and get the feel for the water since we had a game later in the day. This pool is right out in front of our apartment building.

Here is us having fun.

This is why we win.

You want to mess with us?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Opening Ceremonies: Pan Am 2007

Opening Ceremonies was held in the Maracana soccer stadium. It is the famed stadium that Brazilian soccer star Pele scored his 1000 goal. It holds more that 100,000 people and there was not an empty seat in the house. Holding true to the theme of the whole ceremony, "Viva essa Energia!" or "Share the Energy!", the brazilian people did not disappoint!

We got all did up in our USA delegation attire. (Remember that sweet outfit from a few posts back?) I have to admit once we were all wearing them in one huge pack. We didn't look so special. Golf shorts on. Brand new white shoes beaming. We were ready to march.

Our Team dominated the US procession line. Being the first athletes behind the flag bearer. First to bust out of the tunnel into the stadium and shake it with the thousands of people playing drums and dancing along the path to our seats in the stadium. We tried to focus on the crazy positive energy that surrounded down amongst the other athletes and volunteers. Yet a lot of what we heard was "Boo!". We all pretended that they were cheering like crazy for us. Smile and wave. Smile and wave. Dance a little somewhere in there too.

Unlike other Opening Ceremonies I have been to, the athletes were allowed to sit in the stands and watch the rest of the show instead of being corralled together in the middle of the field while the festivities go on around you. As our team did in the athlete procession, we dominated the seating too and sat in the front row! Go polo girls!

To conclude the ceremony they had some very important Brazilian sports teams and athletes carry the Pan American torch around the stadium. Then they lit a huge metal orb on fire which happened to be sitting just to the left of us. It was an amazing thing to see. Olympic caliber.


We have been in Brazil for almost a week. It feels like I have not stopped moving since we got here. So many things to take in. The village, other athletes, the venue. Bus rides to and from places have given us a glimpse of what life is like outside our Pan American bubble. We have yet to see the beach or the famous Redeemer statue, cuz right now all the focus is on the games at hand. Maybe there will be time for that later.

We are 3 for 3. Beating Venezuela, Cuba, and Canada so far.

Here is a look at our village. It is set up as a series of high rise buildings. Situated in a cirle around a man made lagoon. There is grass and lots of tropical plants and flowers. There are even infinity pools placed between every other building. The organizing committee did a great job constructing this village and everything runs quite smoothly.

We have not had any major problems either. Four years ago 1 of 2 toilets broken in an apartment with 13 girls, the ceiling caved in and there was NO way to cool off. Here we have wireless internet in the lobby, 3 AC units and 3 bathrooms per apartment. (There are 6/7 girls per apartment) I think the biggest issue right now is avoiding the dreaded mosquitos! Ali G seems to have the sweetest blood. Right now you could either diagnose her with chicken pox OR a zillion bites on her face.

Right now we are just......

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Escape to the district.

We had a day off before we left for Brazil. So we all escaped the dorms we were staying in and found our way into the heart of DC. It was Giggles first metro ride.

We popped out of the metro right behind the White House. It was rapidly approaching 100 degrees so on the walk around the gated Nation's capitol I decided to run through the sprinklers....I dried completely before we took this picture....and it had only been 4 min.

As we were talking this glorious picture thunder and lightning crashed above us. Yet looking up at the freak clouds above there seemed to be no impending rain ahead.....I mean it was hotter than blazes, it was just an electrical storm right? WRONG!!!!

We began to wonder through "The Mall" of monuments laid out in front of the capitol when we realized a torrential downpour was chasing us. We thought we could outrun it and stay just ahead of the water. We were too slow. Just at the beginning of The Reflecting Pool, the storm caught us and had its way with us. There was no shelter to be found from there to the Lincoln Memorial so all just looked at each other, laughed and began a very wet trek to see Lincoln.

One of the things I wanted to do one day in my life was to sit next to Lincoln way up there on that huge throne of his and take a picture. I mean....I would probably get arrested but good ol Mr. Bush would let a nice patriotic Olympic Athlete out of the slammer. Don't you think???

My plans were foiled. :(
I settled for this nice and legal pose.

While we were inside hanging out with Lincoln the sun came out right above us. The clouds parted and tried to help dry us off. But out in the distance another crazy storm was charging up the reflection pool towards us. (You can see the disturbance in the water of the pool) Luckily those clouds unleashed all the water they could hold before they reached us and we stayed damp instead of getting drenched all over again. :) Great day in DC!!!!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

For More Information....

Hey all you polo fans! And or friends and family. The USA Water Polo website is kind of struggling so in an effort to get more information about our women's team we have started an official team blog. If you want to check it out go to:

Someone will try and update it regularly with the details of our games.

Otherwise I will try to get more personal style happenings up as soon as I can....and if you want a different flavor of my random adventures....go to the box at the right, under "People you want to know" and look at #1(Betsey-our goalie:she is quite insightful) and Stars and Stripes Polo (Brenda- Ol Capitan: with the play by play).

Happy reading!!!!

ready, set, go

Before going to Pan American Games we stopped in Virginia for processing. This is where the entire American Delegation of athletes meets up and goes through a series of informational sessions to prepare for the Games. We got the overview on the Brazilian culture, the village (where we all stay), security, and maybe the best part....outfitting!

I think I have told some people about this before but if not it goes like walk into a large room where they hand you a laundry basket and a clipboard with a list of things on it. Then you go around to the stations and they hand you all the gear. Shirts, hats, shoes....basically it is kinda like Christmas! Having done something like this once or twice before, while the experience is really cool the key is to try things on and make sure they fit.....instead of just standing there eyes big as saucers holding your basket out waiting for more. Cuz if you don't most likely you are going to get things home and something will definitely NOT fit. Plus for some unknown reason.....with all the thousands of designers in our country the organizing committee ALWAYS manages to put us in the most unflattering of outfits. Here are some previews of our sweet clothes.

Wangs is sporting the Opening Ceremonies Outfit. Its "golf" meets "I borrowed my little sister's t-shirt" sheik.
Jess is rocking the shorts with built in chones. Why we got those lovely built in do-hickeys i have no idea. But the men's version that our coaches got did not have them.....and they are the ones that need a little support. Go figure.

So we are lookin hot and ready to go kick some ass in Brazil. :)

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Giggles last day in Montreal

Our goal in coming to the Super Final here in Montreal was to prepare for Pan American Games in Brazil next week. But also to improve as a team, play some good games.....and kick some butt. Which we accomplished!!! :)
We beat Australia today in the final 8-4.

The venue in Montreal is on an island. It is where they held the World Championships in 2005, only we got to use the permanent pool that was used for the swimming events two years ago. Our pool for that event was temporary and was built behind this pool in a field. Giggles watched us do a few swim sets while we were here. She made sure we kept to our ultimate goal of qualifying for the Olympics and so we continued working on our conditioning throughout the tournament.

What else have we been doing here in Montreal besides eating, sleeping, practicing and playing games????

Walked by the Notre Dame Cathedral of Montreal, rode the metro a few times, and ate sushi. (Which may have made Moriah sick....but there is a bug going around and I prefer to think the sushi wasn't tainted!!!)

Saturday, July 7, 2007


If you are not watching the Live Earth Concerts: SOS - A Climate In Crisis , YOU SHOULD BE!!!! It is an incredible thing to see so many people come together for a cause live this. Do your part to be good to our planet!!!

If you want to learn more go to:

The theme for Live Earth was done by Madonna. The video is powerful. Check it out.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Chronicles of TTP- More Montreal

It was a monumental day today!!! We played China with a semi-full squad!!!!

Back after many weeks of rehab and recovery from an injury to her groin is- Natalie "Nasty" Golda!!!!!!
That white tape around her leg supports her injured groin muscle while playing and also helps to lift and sculpt the buttox region for a better looking bum. Maybe we should all go out and buy a roll of tape.

Back in the goal after almost two weeks of a very debilitating stomach/intestinal infection is- Elizabeth "Bets" Armstrong!!!

Nat and Bets got to play the first half and they both did a fabulous job. It is good to have them back in action.

Due to the fact there has been thunder and lightning storms here in Montreal. There has been some very awesome views of the sky. Dark rainclouds in contrast with the sun and blue sky. I took a moment during warm down to capture a little of the beauty. Though the pics do not do the scene justice....still fun to share.

With the win today over China, we have secured ourselves a spot in the final match to play for the gold!! Great job girls!! Bring another one home for the US! :) The games tomorrow will determine who we play.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

The Chronicles of The Traveling Pig- Montreal

I wanted to introduce you to the one and only Traveling Pig (aka. Giggles) who has come with us on our summer polo advetures. She is here to inspire us and remind us of all the work we did at home these past months. Giggles's mother, Carnitas, has stayed home to hold down the fort in Los Alamitos. I think her weight belt was too much of a burden for travel. (One day I will get you all a family photo of our training pets)

Anywho, Giggles immediately found a Canadian relative, named Bacon, in the Metro during the ride to the pool for trainng, our first day in Montreal. Apparently he is famous here or something.

We have come to Montreal for the World Leauge Super Final. It is the tournament before we head to Rio, Brazil for Pan American Games later in the month. Everything is written in French here.

***Lesson for today: SORTIE means EXIT (If you already knew this than you are smart)

Fourth of July marked the beginning of the tournament. (I HOPE YOU ALL HAD A GREAT INDEPENDENCE DAY!!!) Sadly we missed out on fireworks and hot dogs being up here.....but we tried to bring the holiday here. With festive swim suits and sparkly plastic necklaces.

(A big Thank You to Fig's grandmother for that added flare!)

We won our game versus Spain. 12-3

Today we played against Australia. It was a close match. Mostly because we had a beast of a practice this morning, so we were a wee bit tired. On top of that I think the referee's did not want another blow out game like yesterday. Or maybe it was their goal to allow the crowd to see what it would look like to have two people inside one swim suit. (Maybe it just felt that way.) We won 9-8. And a win is a win. I'll take it. :)

Highlight of the game for me was when an Aussie player tried to break my finger. When I asked her if she was in fact trying to break my finger, she was responded with..."Well, you were holding onto my suit." To that I said...."We are playing water polo, dear. That is the nature of our sport." Then I added....."By the way, what do you think you are doing to the front of my suit right now?" She didn't really have a response when she looked down to see her fist full of speedo polyester. Hmmm?

Monday, July 2, 2007

Shiny and NEW!

With the help of friends and family I have splurged and acquired a new bike to replace the stolen one.

It's purple. Silver flames. Pink rims. LOVE IT!!!!

Even the seat has sweet detailing!

I asked the nice salesman at the bike store what lock to get to prevent this baby from getting jacked. He said the only way to go is the U lock. Well I already have one so I am golden. I had the damn thing before and thought that the two locks already on there to begin with was overkill. Now I know better. I should have used two U locks!!!

I'll just keep it inside in the living room to be on the safe side. :)