Email from Lena
home and its great to see my family and friends again. Thanks
for all the support from everyone back at home and for the Breen's
in doing such a fine job with the website.
Well done to the Team Coaches and Management. I cant think of
a better ending for my Swansong, it was a fantastic experience.
To the Team Members who are out there in the World having their
adventures, return safely. To my ladies.....you are the best.
Email from Andrew Niven in Germany
Well excuse me if I get the y and the z around the wrong way,
the keyboards here are stupid and these two keys are reversed.
Anyway. GERMANY.... it has been a great adventure. Since the
girls could not find anyone worthwhile photoing in Poland they
were delighted when we got to Germany and discovered that the
guys (in there words) are hot, or as Cam would say... h-o-t-t-o-g-o...
Anyway, Alix and Carolina have been photoing all the guys that
walk past, and between you and me they have very little in the
way of taste. In fact, if it has a skin head it seems to be in.
It hasn't been all bad, since Cam discovered that I have no
fear of being caught photographing someone he has some great shots
of woman. Pity he likes blondes and I don't.
We have been staying with Antje's friends and Family and they
have been so wonderful. I think they think that we are skinny
though as they keep trying to feed us the entire house. Cam hasn't
complained yet, so this will probably continue.
The beer here is AMAZING! I love it. Almost good enough to stay
for, which has been a little bit of a topic just rescently, job
offers and all. But I guess I will have to come back home, Italy
sounds like too much of a good tournament.
Thank you to all that have emailed me directly, to those asking
if I will coach the team to Italy... wait and see, you will just
have to watch the website.
Funny thing just happened. Cam went up to the watress and asked
for a latte... which in German means Hard-on. He just laughed
about it, and then I went and (almost) did the same thing. Note
to travellers - its latta in german.
Have seen some fantastic architecture and would love to send
photos, but it is really hard to use the laptop here. Will keep
Tomorrow we drive to another town, then on Friday we are off
to yet another German town to visit Antje's brother. Then it is
off to Czech Rep.
Will be in touch.
19.06.03: from Paul McPhail:
I want to publicly congratulate the team. I was very proud
as you can imagine. From the first day of the tournament other
umpires were commenting to me about the team and how good they
look. Master Bos said "Many complements on your team this
year - they look very good and so enthusiastic".
I was very impressed by the standard of all the competitors.
Mr Mantjika and I agreed that the sparring was a higher standard
than in Italy - especially some of the mens lighter divisions.
I have never seen speed like some of the Brazilian fighters! The
division sizes looked similar to Italy - perhaps slightly less
in some - but over all a similar competition.
Congratulations to Gray, Lena and Carl in particular. They are
simply world class in their events. Carl can fly and has a great
future. Lena is retiring from World Champs now so a huge thank
you to her for all the input over the years and for leading the
way for the other women. And Gray - well he's superhuman as we
know - and guess what - there is talk that the World Champs will
now include up to 6th dan, so hopefully we will see him competing
even after his grading to 5th dan.
It was my first time umpiring at a World Champs so was bit of a
learning curve. The Jury President on our ring was particularly
strict and more than once I was summoned to the front table to explain
my scoring. My impression was that the judging was very fair. Many
times the result was awarded to the non-favorite, where in the past
if you were up against one of the "big" countries then
you didn't stand much of a chance. The ring councils were always
carefully constructed of judges from different continents, and finals
did not have any judges from a finalists' countries.
Congratulations to the our coaches, manager and everyone that helped
the team. And again congratulations to ALL the team members. Some
of them came so close to medalling also. I was also proud of their
attitude - always modest and showed great sportsmanship and support
for other teams. You have done us proud!