Tag Archives: bronze medal

0.317

16 Aug

Last weekend my dragon boat team and I competed at the Victoria Dragon Boat Festival. So many things happen at these away races and I always struggle on how to write about them. Do I focus on the races? The food? The general merriment? The travel? Sometimes there is one huge thing that stands out, so it becomes obvious what story I want to tell, other times the entire weekend is fun and I wish I could find a way to talk about everything.

I thought I’d try breaking things down in to categories…maybe that will help?

So, the food!

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This isn’t all the food I ate over the course of the trip, there was dinner on the ferry ride home, and a random banana or slices of toast here and there, but the best food deserved to be photographed and shared.

Pictures of Victoria!

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I took some random, kinda touristy, pictures of Victoria while there. I can’t really tell you all that much about them lol I just took them because I liked how they looked.

General hi-jinks!

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So yeah, I realized I didn’t ask anybody if I could put their pictures on my blog and it is late at night right now so I’m not going to wake them up with texts asking, which means you’re stuck with pictures of me. Sorry!

Last, but definitely not least, is the actual racing!

Each team raced twice on Saturday and twice on Sunday. We had the option to race in something called Guts & Glory but it happens later in the day on Sunday and we wanted to be on as early of a ferry as possible so we opted out. It was nice to qualify though. πŸ™‚

We won Bronze in Division A, or as this festival calls it, Diamond Division!

You may be wondering about the title of this post, 0.317.

0.317 is how far behind we were from the team that won Silver. So we were thiiiiiiis close to winning silver. Which for some people might make the bronze seem less special, or might make winning the Bronze sad, because instead of thinking we Won bronze the thought becomes we Lost silver. I get it, I do! So many races are won and lost by hundredths of a second and when you are on the losing side of that number it can hurt. To know that you were so close and didn’t make it sucks. It doesn’t help that when you tell people you won Bronze they dismiss it, or joke about you not winning silver or gold, or make any number of comments that I guess they think are funny. Weirdos.

It happens when you win silver, people comment about you getting gold next time, things like that. *rolls eyes*

Instead of celebrating the medal we earned, the time we got, it becomes about being apologetic we didn’t do better. To that, I am calling bullshit. That’s right, you heard me.

We have been training for months, since February in case you were curious. We train in cold, in rain, in wind, in polluted waters, in poor air quality, in blistering heat, in hail. We train when we are tired, sick, injured, sad. We have been working our butts off for the better part of a year, and we’ll keep training because it is what we do. We train on the water, we compete in other sports, we go to the gym, hike trails, do all sorts of things to stay strong and keep fit, in part so we can bring a strong and useful version of ourselves to the boat.

All of that counts for something, at least to me it does, and I’m proud of our Bronze medal. We worked hard for that, we earned it! My team accomplished something in Victoria, we came together and showed that we could work as a team and earn some hardware. I am proud of all of them. πŸ™‚

Ok so I didn’t actually get permission from any of them yet to show the team picture so I’m just gonna cross my fingers none of them mind! lol

That in a nutshell is my Victoria weekend. We went. We ate a lot of food. We raced. We won bronze. I bought a hat that is over priced but looks so good on me. None of us got sunburned (that’s mostly a concern for me, the pale one in the group lol). We had a fun time. πŸ˜€

 

Rio Tinto Alcan 2015

23 Jun

June 20th & 21st were the days of the Rio Tinto Alcan Dragon Boat festival. Technically the festival started June 19th with the dotting of the dragon eyes ceremony but I never go to that so for me the festival started June 20th…that is this past Saturday for those of you not near a calendar lol This festival is the largest Dragon Boat Festival in North America, it is actually the largest outside of China, it is massive. This year there were over 100,000 people there and the competition was fierce!

Let me just say this weekend was beyond awesome! πŸ˜€

Both days were sunny and gorgeous and busy and I loved ohhhh I’d say every minute of it!…well, maybe not the early rising part cause I hate mornings but once I was up definitely every minute.

I was racing with two teams this year. My team, The Twisted Hips which is a mixed team…that means we have both men and women on the boat. The second team was Concord Flying Dragons, they are a ladies team that a friend of mine is close with, they needed a couple extra ladies so I got asked and of course said yes, who wouldn’t want more chances to race?

Both teams won medals, wOOt! wOOt! which means I came away with a Gold and a Bronze! Oh yeeeah! πŸ˜€

My bronze and my gold medals.

My bronze and my gold medals.

Aren’t they such a pretty addition to my collection? Love em! πŸ˜€

The Twisted Hips

The Twisted Hips – we won bronze.

The Flying Dragons

The Flying Dragons – we won gold.

My team!

My team!

This is my team, I’m so proud of each and every one of them! We’ve been training since February, in the cold, the rain, the dark. We come to practice when sick, when we don’t feel like it, when we’re exhausted. We race with injuries, when our lives have a million other demands, in any weather. We fight for our division within the festivals, we earn our medals, we race with determination and heart. πŸ™‚

And I’ll stop with the preachy aren’t-we-awesome stuff now lol πŸ˜›

I don’t have a team picture of Concord…yet! I like keeping team pics from each festival so I’ll be making sure to get one eventually.

I took some random pictures during the weekend which I will now bombard you with! teehee

2015-06-20 15.54.04

2015-06-20 15.54.08

2015-06-21 10.54.30

Okay so there weren’t as many pictures to bombard you with as I thought, I took a lot but I highly doubt you want to watch a series of pictures showing the end of a race or multiples of shots that are near identical lol I don’t have any video footage of our races, if I did rest assured I’d be providing you a link so you could watch lol

For me the festival is all about the races, obviously, but there are a lot of other things happening to keep those in the crowd entertained. There are a large variety of food trucks, with pretty much nothing healthy lol Some of us from The Twisted Hips shared some Beaver Tails which sounds barbaric until you learn they are pastry, deep fried, with toppings put on top. They are oh so yummy! We went with the classic toppings of cinnamon and sugar but you can get a whole bunch of stuff on them. There are also vendor tents for shopping, yay shopping! You can find all kinds of things, dragon boat gear, clothes, jewellery, food and drink samples (I got a delish blueberry yogurt from one tent and a yucky tofu mango drink at another *shudder*) and random other things. There are also tents set up from companies giving away stuff, or with contests you can enter, you know all they really want is your business or to recruit you to their cause or to teach you something but hey, free stuff is enticing so I’ll listen to someone talk about why I should drink tap water over bottled (which I already do lol) if it’ll get me a free item that I will, oddly enough, never ever use, and end up having to throw out at some point when I am decluttering. It’s weird lol but it’s a festival! πŸ˜›

Oh! I forgot! We sponsored a team from Portland, which really means we bought them some food and were friendly with them lol They also won a medal so we took a team pic with them. πŸ™‚

Rio Tinto June 20-21 2015 J

I don’t know who took this, a camera ninja obviously! But there I am in marshalling (the waiting area where teams get lined up before going to the boats) in all my dragon boat finery lol

Who took this? lol

Who took this? lol

And lastly, this is me with my dinner which came loooong after we won and celebrated, it was the best burger ever! I’ve probably had better but I was so hungry it sure seemed like the best ever lol πŸ˜›

I'm such a lady lol

I’m such a lady lol

So there we have it, it was an awesome weekend I wish didn’t have to end but of course it did, sigh. Filled with friends, and fun, and food and medals! πŸ˜€

Almost Within Our Grasp

12 Jul

I put off writing this because I didn’t want it to turn in to a rant, or a post with a lot of swearing lol Last weekend my dragon boat team raced in Nanaimo, BC. It was my first time racing in that particular festival, also my first time visiting Nanaimo. The festival was great (for the most part), and while I didn’t see much of the city the area I was in seemed to be filled with the nicest people ever! Seriously. Ever! πŸ™‚

the boats all tied up waiting for race day

the boats all tied up waiting for race day

Since Nanaimo is on Vancouver Island we all went over at varying times Friday. I had the day off, as did some others, so we went on the mid day ferry and had lots of time to explore the race set up, bits of the city, and take the littlest boat ever to Protection Island where we ate at a floating pub called The Dinghy Dock Pub…oh, and drank, there was definite drinking involved lol πŸ˜‰

Saturday our first race was early, ugh, we had a great race! Came in second place, with a time of 2:09 (I can’t remember the milliseconds, oops!). The water conditions were nothing like what I am used to. There were water planes landing alongside the race lanes plus a high level of wind plus in general just choppier waters so the waters were nowhere near as calm as what I practice and usually race in. Despite being in the outside lane (which means being farthest away from the race master and unable to hear what he was saying, and closest to the landing planes) we rocked it! πŸ˜€ It was definitely a race to be proud of, and we were!

The wind picked up so much by lunchtime that the second set of races for the day had to be cancelled due to safety concerns, sucky! I mean, we all understood but at the same time we reeeeeally wanted to race, we had such great momentum built up from that first race ya know?

We ended up hanging by the pool at the hotel then almost all of us went to Protection Island for visit number 2 at The Dinghy Dock Pub…to be fair, for most of them this was their first visit there lol. After dinner we went back to the hotel where we took part in a Jell-o shooter contest, oh and played Battleshots (think of the game Battleship, only the boats are large enough to hold shot glasses…wait for the awesomeness of this game to fully sink in to your head, yup, there ya go, *nods* πŸ˜‰ ). Basically, general partying ensued.

Battleshots! Girls vs Guys, and oh yah! Girls won! wOOt! :)

Battleshots! Girls vs Guys, and oh yah! Girls won! wOOt! πŸ™‚

Hey what can I say, dragon boaters practice hard, race hard, and party hard! lol

Sunday…hmm…Sunday is where the not so great part of the festival happened…

Our first race on Sunday was amazing! So great! We shaved off a second from our race time, we came in at 2:08, second place, this meant dun-dun-dunnnn we qualified for the medal races in Diamond Division! Oh yah babeeeee! πŸ˜€

Now, two of our paddlers had to leave early so we found two subs to take their places. This, for anybody who doesn’t know dragon boating, is normal practice. I have known boats at race festivals who had so many paddlers missing that over half the boat was filled with subs from higher ranking teams and they won medals because they basically stacked their boat. We were not looking to stack the boat, we were just two short, and are used to being in festivals where you can borrow paddlers. Our captain got two paddlers from a lower ranking team and voila we were covered!

Welllll, not so much, sigh. A person who I will do my best to not call a mean name decided to file an official complaint against our team for having people in our boat who were not on the roster. We didn’t know this till after we raced tho so picture this…We race our final race of the day, this is for the medal, everything counts! We gave it everything we had, we paddled hard, we came in third place, bronze! We won bronze! We were neck and neck with the boat that came in second place, we were apart by mere milliseconds! Milliseconds! Epic! We knew we won the bronze medal so we are cheering, full of adrenaline, totally stoked as we pull in to the dock, and that is where it ended…an official wouldn’t let us out of our boat, came over, explained about the complaint, blathered on about people in our boat who weren’t on the roster, and for me anyways, just kept talking while I sat stunned, soaking in what he was saying, wanting to shake my head and yell no and stomp my feet and cry, I knew the medal was gone, all that work, all those practices, putting everything we had in to that final race, and none of it mattered because one person was able to yank it away.

We were allowed to argue our side, our captain and our caller went and spoke with some of the officials while the rest of us stood in a group discussing, worrying, plotting revenge…in the end it didn’t matter. Turns out there was a rule for this festival about who can sub in for teams and we accidentally got subs who were not allowed. If the complaint hadn’t been lodged the officials would not have punished us, people had been getting subs for their teams all festival, it is one of those technicalities that is over looked by officials buuuuut if someone complains then the officials have to investigate and enforce the rules. They took our medal and get this, it got given to the team that had the lady on it that filed the complaint!…no bias there huh? What makes it worse is they were ridiculously slow in that race, Β 6 seconds behind us! Fyi, 6 seconds in a dragon boat race is huuuuge! It’d be one thing if it had been a close race, but we were so obviously better than them and yet, they got our medal! Grr!

The officials didn’t completely disqualify us, even though we didn’t get our medal we didn’t lose our placement within the festival, we ranked 11th out of 80 teams which is awesome! We just don’t have the medal to show off to people…I’m trying to not let this bother me overly much…

What gets me is, how can they be proud of their bronze medal? They didn’t earn it, they don’t have a race time that is deserving of it, they got it by complaining…I wouldn’t want a medal gotten that way. If I had gotten a medal that way I wouldn’t be telling anybody about it because I wouldn’t have earned it, why would anybody want a medal they didn’t earn?? *confused face*

After all that happened, not gonna lie, put a bit of a downer on the rest of the day, we went out to a pub (not the floating one) for dinner as a team, played some pool, basically we were trying to force ourselves to start putting the whole thing behind us, which I think was a good way to handle it. If we had all just gone our separate ways we’d all of individually stewed about it, this way, we talked about it a bit, decided how we would get revenge, and then helped distract each other from what happened. Team work! lol

Something kinda awesome happened on the ferry ride back to the mainland…a lady from a team I’ve never heard of, a lady who didn’t know us, had heard what happened, she came over to the group of us that were travelling back on that particular ferry together and she said she was impressed with how well we were handling things, she said it is was unfortunate that some people feel the need to be like “that lady who complained”, and said some other stuff about her being a poor sport an stuff. It felt good knowing that people who don’t even know our team, but who heard the story, think what happened was crap.

We almost had a medal, we were so close we could taste it, I swear I could already feel it hanging around my neck, but then, in a blink of an eye, it was gone. 😦 Even though it was taken away, I still feel as if we earned it. We had a race time that shows we earned it, and despite the disgrace of being stripped of our medal I am proud.

Proud of my team for racing so well that entire weekend.

Proud of my team for having race times that qualified us to race for medals.

Proud of my team for winning the Bronze medal in the Diamond Division (that is the second highest division in that festival).

Proud of how well we handled the drama of the medal being stripped.

Most of all, I am proud that since that festival we have had strong, solid practices, we have worked hard, we will work even harder next week, and then we will race in our next festival and we will be awesome! We will have fun! We will race hard! We will race smart! We will be a team to be reckoned with! (insert warrior cry here!) πŸ˜€

And that lady? She will be nothing to us but a story, a person to mock and pity because she is so unhappy in her life she has to go out of her way to try to ruin things for others. But ya know what? She didn’t ruin things. We are even more united as a team now, we are stronger, we have each others backs and what does she have? A medal that she can’t even feel proud of.

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