Saturday, July 29, 2017

Tim: Day 9

We, as a group, have been luckily enough to volunteer for two sports at the World Games.  The first sport we were tasked with was American Football.  I worked mainly with the media division during the American Football games, but also floated to other departments if they needed help.  My responsibility during the games was to make sure all media members were in their designated zones.  Most of the photographers and journalists knew where they were supposed to be, but some were in areas they were not allowed to be in.  I was basically like security.  The second sport we get to volunteer for is Speedway.  I had no idea exactly what Speedway was before the World Games.  I found out the sport is extremely popular in Europe, and like NASCAR on motorbikes.  I was originally supposed be working in information during Speedway, but now am going to be working ticketing.  This sometimes happens with volunteering as things change. 

My experience in Poland so far has surpassed even my wildest expectations.  This was my first time being in a foreign country, and I have been trying to soak it all up.  It continues to be easy getting around the city as volunteers of the World Games get free transportation with our credentials.  We have been able to see so much in our time.  One of our first nights we saw light show on the fountains which was exciting.  Seeing Centennial Hall was beautiful.  Downtown Wroclaw is a sight to see, and it always leaves me with a sense of wonder.  On other excursions around the city, like to see other sports from the World Games, has let us see many other parts of the city.  We had a great hike to Narodowy Gor Stolowych.  I am not a big fan of hiking normally, but it was eerily beautiful.  The site was full of luscious greenery, small steps, and a grand history.  Krakow reminded me of a metropolis steeped in history.  It was awe-inspiring hearing about buildings well over a 1,000 years old.  One of our final group excursions was to Auschwitz.  Before we left, I was looking the most forward to this trip more than anything.  The trip to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial was something difficult to explain.  Some other members have discussed their take on the trip.  It was stunning to see everything up close.  One can read countless books or watch dozens of movies, but nothing compares to seeing the real thing.  It was heartbreaking, tough to get through at times, but important to know about. 

I was excited to get the opportunity to cover lacrosse at the World Games.  2017 marks the first-time lacrosse will be played at the World Games.  Only women will participate in these games.  I usually tell people that lacrosse is kind of a mix of soccer and hockey on grass.  Lacrosse is played with a ball, and carried with a lacrosse stick.  The ball moves via being carried or thrown.  The goal, no pun intended, is to put the ball in the opponent’s goal, or make sure the other team does not put the ball in your goal.  One of the more important rules is the goalie is the only one allowed to touch the ball with their hand, and that is only when they are within the crease.  The countries participating in lacrosse at the 2017 World Games are Poland, USA, Canada, Australia, Great Britain, and Japan.  Lacrosse is in the early stages of play while my blog is due.  The first day of matches, the USA beat Poland 20-0, Great Britain beat Japan 9-5, and Canada beat Australia 15-10.  The second day started off with another USA win, this time over Great Britain 14-6.  That was the closest game of the day as Australia destroyed Poland 23-0, and Canada beat Japan 18-5. 

Cameron & Mary: Day 8

It is truly amazing how fast time flies by! I cannot believe we are already have ten days here completed. We have managed to fit in an incredible amount of cultural experiences and volunteering in these past few days. We have actually been so busy the past couple of days, that volunteering for American football seems like an eternity ago. As a volunteer for the American football competition, I was assigned Swiss Timing. This position meant that I had the duty of keeping the clock for the television broadcast or scouting the score for the website and stats. I focused on scouting the score or both games that I worked. This experience was intriguing because it was something I had never done before. It was also interesting to see all the behind the scenes production elements that go into events such as this. “In my walks, every man I meet is my superior in some way, and in that I learn from him.” This quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson is one that has continually popped into my

head throughout this trip. I have met and interacted with so many different people from all kinds of backgrounds. I have learned something from each and every single one of them. I have learned so much from the people of Poland and their culture. I have a new found appreciation for being outside. Whether it be walking around the Market Square, strolling by the river, hiking up the Stolowe Mountains, or simply being able to trot down to the bakery in the mornings. I have a new love for walking around and feeling the electric energy of cities and the relaxation of nature. One of the more interesting sports going on during the World Games is beach handball. This sport is similar to handball, but is played on a sandy court, hence the name. The sport is considered a ball sport and involves two teams passing, bouncing, or rolling a ball. The aim of the game is to throw the ball into the goal of the opposing side, in order, to win two out of three sets. At the 2017 World Games, the sport will have two divisions, one women and one male. Currently the competition is still being held at the World Games. In fact, the gold medal matches have
been announced. For the men, Brazil will face Croatia. For the women, Brazil will face Argentina.

As we come into what is now day 11 of our trip, I cant help but smile with the experiences that I have gained. I am writing now, on my time off, at a desk in front of my window in my room and staring out at the spectacular view of a small neighborhood in Wroclaw. It is lush and colorful and the sounds and smells are just what you would imagine.
The World Games is a lot different that I was expecting. To be honest, I wasn’t sure what exactly I was expecting, but it has turned out to better. I have been able to interact with numerous people who speak absolutely no English and some that speak it very well. I have learned a lot about their culture and what all Poland has to offer. This is my favorite part of traveling; being able to be engulfed in the culture and participate in their work. After completing work for the day, we would continue engulfing ourselves in the culture by taking the tram to the city square to take in the evening the “European Way.” (Light shows, great food, and even greater company)
My duties so far have been involved with the information section of the World Games. My responsibilities have ranged from anywhere from sitting at an information booth giving directions to working in the VIP area and arranging transportation. I have had to be quick on my feet at times, and for the other times, I needed to be patient and flexible. We have had great volunteer leaders and we have been always willing to help out with whatever is needed.
Floor ball is a very unfamiliar sport to me personally. I had never heard of it prior coming on this trip and I was interested to learning more about it. Floor ball is essentially soccer with sticks, or hockey with a ball. It is a very popular sport with its championships held by the IFF every two years. This year, floor ball is being featured during the World Games 2017 July 27-30th. As of now, Finland defeated Poland 0-6, which brings Finland to the next round in the men’s. Tournament. Tomorrow, Poland and Czech Republic are playing and Sweden and SUI have a match as well. Whoever wins this next round goes to the next game.

I look forward to seeing all of the new sports as our trip dwindles down to only a few days left. We are volunteering at Speedway for the next two days; I know we are all really excited!