My Badminton and Life Blog

My Badminton and Life Blog

Sunday, April 23, 2017

2016 Canada Open


 
Nationals had come and gone and I didn’t play another tournament after that, 2 months later Canada Open rolled around and once again it was in my hometown of Calgary. This is a tournament that I have played multiple times since its inaugural showing in Vancouver back in 2010 at the Richmond Olympic oval. It has a soft spot being in Canada but at the same time being in Calgary where everyone that I know can come watch. Last year I played a player from China and unfortunately didn’t have a great match but this year was up against a Canadian who I knew. I would play against Andy Ko from Edmonton, Alberta which was set to be a good match. Even though we were from the same province and had both been playing for a while in the Provincial circuit we never did play each other in singles until now. I would lie if I said that I wasn’t nervous for the match, I wanted to win and knew that it would be a tough one.

 
Practice time at the Venue

Match day rolled around and we once again went up to the Winsport facility at Canada Olympic Park (COP) where the arena was set up to host the tournament. I had friends from the USA come to participate this year as well. Yuko and Tuck, Tuck and I would be playing doubles together and he would play mixed with Yuko. We were able to get a good amount of practice in at the venue and as always the place looked great but to play there was sort of a nightmare due to all the distractions visually. None the less it was game day and do or die moment.

 

I stepped onto the court to play Andy and right away I was feeling nerves come over me, I haven’t experienced this feeling before. Not even when playing in my national championships or the Pan Am Games which was such a huge tournament. But I knew I had to conquer them else it would work against me. The match got under way and I had Ardy as well as Bryan sitting behind my chair, it was reassuring but at the same time nerve racking too. The match unfolded and it was a battle, point by point went by and we were close then Andy took the first game. I fought back and won the second, that meant that it would go to 3. I was feeling confident and playing well and had to lead when we switched sides and all went to hell. Something happened and for whatever reason I didn’t have an answer for his shots I stopped controlling and started reacting which ultimately in the end cost me the match.

 



I was disappointed, I was devastated, I was done I just didn’t know how to react. Loosing isn’t something that I want to do, it’s something that nobody wants to do. A loss in 3 games that close is just heart wrenching, especially in front of all the kids I coach, all my friends, etc it just broke my heart. I didn’t know how to feel, I felt like a failure like I shouldn’t even be competing. But that was an emotion that I would have to get over and I didn’t let it affect me for long. It is still one of those moments I look back on and have an uneasy feeling about. Andy played great and is a great player, which I would never deny him that. I usually don’t discuss my emotions and the emotional side of badminton but this is one that just got to me, coming of a national championships win to this just hit hard.

 


That was that though and it was time to move on to doubles. Tuck and I had just played the Manhattan Beach international together back in January and decided to give Canada Open a go. We were up against a Canadian pair of B.R. Sankeeth and Adam Dong which was an incredibly strong pair to play. Despite our best efforts we were beat relatively easy. So Canada open was done for another year, not the best performance or performance that I would have liked.

 

The following week would be US Open but before that it was time to show Tuck and Yuko around Canada as it was their first come coming to their friendly northern neighbour. On the agenda was showing them around downtown Calgary followed by a day trip out to Banff and Lake Louise. Which despite rainy weather ended up being quite a beautiful and fun time. Dean joined us as well and we headed up to Lake Louise to take a picture with the picturesque backdrop. Despite the rain and overcast the lake came out brilliantly green and just perfect. We walked around there for a bit but it started to rain so we darted into the hotel and hung out for a little whole the downpour passed. As we were driving back to Banff the weather of course cleared up (Calgary/Banff can have all 4 seasons in 1 day) and we headed into the city to walk around. We hung out in Banff for a little while and ate lunch there then it was time to head back to Calgary.
 
Picture Perfect at Lake Louise. Left to Right; Tuck, Dean, Yuko, Me
 
 
The following day we went back to COP and Yuko, Tuck, and Dean wanted to do the bobsled run. In the summer they put the bobsled on tires and will launch it from a little under half way up the track so you get a somewhat experience of what it’s actually like. I have already done it before so I let them go ahead and do it. After that they wanted to do the luge which is essentially a soapbox racer with breaks that you ride down a hill steering around corners and obstacles. Pretty much some of the best fun that you can have and it is awesome going fast. Yuko did it once and was happy enough so I took the rest of her 2 runs down the hill with Dean. Dean likes speed and dam he was ahead of me the whole way aside from one point where I passed him but he overtook me on a turn with only 1 of the 3 wheels touching the ground. That night we played some badminton and then before you know it the week was done and it was time to head to LA. Yuko left first in the night of July 1 and then Tuck the next day. I would leave July 3 in the morning and meet them in LA or well meet Yuko in LA as I would be staying at her place. Just enough time for some Canada Day celebrations and when I arrived in LA it would be 4th of July, something I have seemed to be celebrating more and more over the years.
We were gonna leave tuck behind

Luge at Canada Olympic Park
 
 
 

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