Windsor Lancers

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Coach Rizzotti's First Blog from Chile: Travel Troubles

After a great night with my family on Saturday celebrating my brothers' wedding, I began my journey to Chile to meet the team who had travelled the day before. Well... I'm still going! I arrived in Santiago, Chile at 10 a.m. Monday after taking a red-eye from Dallas where I struggled to sleep. The volcanic ash from the active volcanoes in Chile caused all flights to be delayed and then eventually cancelled. It's a pretty helpless feeling to be stuck in a foreign country, by yourself, with no working phone, and few English speaking people. Not a happy camper.

I did run into the Brazilian national team whose staff, after two years of playing each other, I know pretty well. It was a big relief to be with people who spoke Spanish and could explain what was going on. We also ran into some officials from FIBA and after a few more hours of waiting, we were told that they were getting us a bus to drive the rest of the way. So after getting only a few hours of sleep after the wedding, not getting much sleep on the red-eye, I am now about to embark on a 12-15 hour bus trip over night so that I can arrive in Puerto Montt by mid-day on Tuesday.

So while we wait for the Canadian team to arrive to come with us, I am sitting with the Canadian team doctor and a referee from Egypt having dinner and drinks. At 10 p.m., 46 of us will board a 50 person bus that hopefully has reclining seats. All I want is a shower and a bed.

Meanwhile, the team scrimmaged against Russia tonight. The update I got was that we won fairly easily, our point guard play was good, but our posts were a little soft and in foul trouble. The gym also had no heat and the bus drove over a cable so the clock didn't work. Tomorrow, we scrimmage Australia and I'm hoping to be there!!

Trying to stay positive and promise to keep you posted as long as I have access to my I-pad. After we win gold, this will be a distant memory. Good night.

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