Following the US Open we flew over to Vancouver, Canada for the 2013 Canada Open, this would be my 3rd Canada Open as I skipped one year for a reason I cannot remember. But this time with the company of my fellow Trinidad player it would be the biggest contingency of Trinidad players.in.the tournament yet...at 2. Since we would be in Vancouver for a while we decided to rent a condo and share with some friends from Edmonton that were coming.down for the tournament as well. We would arrive 2 days before the rest of them so have us some time to settle in.
Upon arrival to Vancouver we made our way over to the condo.which was quite the walk with luggage and badminton bags in the hot sun. Being in Richmond we got.our fair share of looks from people. The condo was pretty big, 2 bedrooms and 2 full bathrooms. It would be housing 5 of us in total most of the time (7 for 1 night and 6 for the last night). The only downside was that it was quite the walking.distance into Richmond proper and to the Olympic oval where the tournament was being held. At least it was warm and didn't rain while we were there.
|Own bed/room, not to shabby|
So the 1st task upon arrival was to get some food and stuff from the supermarket so we could cook meals at the condo. Upon completion of that we had a little bit of time to kill before heading out that night to have a hit with some of my friends from Richmond. That made for some decent warm up practice and.getting use to how the shuttles fly in Vancouver as it's different than where I train in Calgary. So we did that and played with my friends group at one of the local clubs. The Olympic oval wouldn't be set up for the tournament for another 2 days so we were unable to practice there. The night wasn't bad, met some new people and got some good practice in. Then came the long walk back to the condo. It wasn't terrible and if you walked decently fast would only take 15-20 minutes. The next day came and we once again had the condo all to ourselves. The day consisted of.more of the same a little exploring but then practice that night again. The following day the other 3 people would arrive and the condo would be packed.
|Richmond Olympic Oval|
The next day came and the others arrived, that night we went down to the oval and we're able to get some practice on the courts as they were just setting them up at that time. There was still another day until the tournament was to start. So the following day we got to practice two times, once in the morning and then again that night. The night session team Japan was there practicing and had almost all the courts but they were kind enough to let us use one. The tournament day had rolled around and in the morning it started with qualification events. I was fortunate enough to not have to qualify for this tournament and was in the main draw for singles, doubles and mixed matches. My partner from Trinidad wasn't as lucky and had to qualify for his singles. He played one of the guys from my friends group and was unable to win so was knocked out of the singles events.
The evening came and 1st round main draw matches rolled around. I was playing Toby Ng of Canada in the singles and it wasn't pretty or as close as my match the week before at US Open. I was able to put some pressure on him and run him around but all in all just unable to keep the pressure and win the points. Toby is a fantastic player who while primarily a mixed specialist can adapt to the other games very well. It was a good experience as always, but just kept showing me that I am not up to those players level. Doubles saw me play Toby again and his partner Jacky Ruan who came to Canada from China. That match can only be summed up by the statement "complete gong show". I am by no means a doubles player. Provincially in Alberta I can hold my own and make semifinals in doubles but come internationally that is a completely different story. Mixed.was more of the same and saw me play yet another Canadian pair making all 3 matches I played against Canadian players.
So the tournament had come to an end, another disappointing performance, coming so close at US Open and then shitting the bed to put it eloquently at Canada Open. I was still sticking around for another 4 days to spend with friends and enjoy a little vacation. All this while attending 2 summer courses which I had papers and a presentation to do. So upon the end of my matches I had to start and finish a paper for a 500 level class I was taking as well as write another paper for a 300 level class. Little to say I procrastinated and did them both the day before they were due, emailing them in just before the deadline. Once those were done I could enjoy the rest of my trip relatively stress free.
I have been to Vancouver many times before so have explored a lot of stuff. One of my.favorite places is Stanley park and.the sea walk where it's just peaceful and nice. I ended up heading into downtown Vancouver to meet up and catch up with one of my best friends who I've known since elementary school. Iris and me walked about and had some dessert (yes I do eat junk food). Did a little bit of shopping and then went our separate ways. That night just as with every other night I ended up going to play badminton with my friends who I don't get to see otherwise. So the tournament itself was coming to an end and there was a huge group of players going out clubbing. My roommate invited me to go but last minute I canceled on them because I didn't feel like going out to party I wanted to spend time with my friends and play some badminton. I had already partied a lot for the summer and just wasn't in the mood. To say the least she was super pissed and I had 1 more day there she didn't speak to me at all for canceling on her. To this day (over 6 months later as I'm writing this) she hasn't spoken to me because of that.
|"Free Willy" the 1st thing that comes to mind|
|Such a peaceful and beautiful place to walk/run|
|Yum dessert with Iris|
My time in Vancouver had come to an end and the summer tour had finished. All in all it was a great experience with some close matches and lessons learned on court. I would return to training soon and do what I could to improve the weak areas of my game. Then would start planning out the end of the year tournaments that I wanted to attend. Flying home felt nice, I was gone for 2 and a half weeks at that point. The day after I arrived home though I would step back into summer classes. So my summer was am eventful one, playing 3 tournaments (be them relatively local) as well as taking a full spring.and summer course load because I wanted to graduate by the end of 2013. All that I had left for courses was 10 options since I did all my core requirements. At this point I was right on track and.would finish off the year taking a block week course and then my final 3 classes during the fall semester to finish off my degree requirements by December. *spoiler* I did it and graduated with my degrees.