Saturday, March 19, 2005

Diving Grand Prix in Madrid, Spain - 05

Straight after the training camp we headed off to Madrid for the Fina Grand Prix Meet. We flew on a small jet which only had 50 seats. We stayed at the Fiesta Hotel which was great as it was only a 2 minute walk to the pool. Unfortunately my camera didn't work most of the time we were there. I didn't really have a good meet in Madrid; on 1 metre I came 17th. 3m I finished 14th - it was disappointing that I didn't make finals as I was only a few points off 12th. However on 3 metre synchronised Carlie and I came 4th which was a top effort considering that we had only practised one time before the day of the competition. We just missed out on the bronze to the Spanish girls who has a huge supporter group. I think I was pretty nervous going into the competition and it reflected in the way I dived, but I did have a good time!

Dodgy photo of the flags at the pool

The very unexciting view from my hotel room

Two cars parked in the middle of the street!

The Australian team at McDonalds in Frankfurt on the way home, the Mc Donalds made me feel really sick on the plane. The competition at Madrid was a great experience for me, it showed me the level of competition and what I needed to do to be at that level.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Training Camp in Berlin, Germany - 05

On the 7th of March 2005, I arrived in Berlin with the Australian team manager to meet up with the other team members who competed in Grand Prix meet in Rostock. We had a training camp in Berlin instead of competing at the Grand Prix in Russia, which was fine by me as it was my first visit to Germany. We stayed in Sport Hotel in Berlin which was pretty nice.
That's Nikki and Kat out the front and the other photo is Kat, Nikki, Carlie and me with the Berlin bear in the hotel foyer.

It was freezing and it was also the first time I had seen it snow, so that was exciting. The city Berlin was nice but the people seemed quite grumpy. The pool we trained, the Berliner Bader-Betriebe, it was 5 years old but looked brand new. The dry land centre was very impressive with a fast track trampoline, a sprung floor strip, a normal floor strip, three trampolines, a dry board, a dry platform, two pit boards and a hydraulic platform into a pit!!! That's one of my coaches Xiangning on the tramp.
The pool was also awesome; it had 2 x 10 metre platforms, 7.5 metre, 2 x 5 metre platforms, a hydraulic platform which can go from 1 metre to 7 metres, 1 metre platform. There were also 3 x 3 metre boards, a hydraulic board which could also go from 1 metre to 7 metres, 5 x 1 metre boards and a 1/2 metre board. There was also an underwater viewing area for coaches.
Whilst in Berlin, we were also able to get out and see some sites. They included the Fernsehturm TV tower, several very old and beautiful churches, parts of the Berlin Wall and outdoor museums about the Berlin Wall and Hitler which were incredibly sad and moving.
We also went to Checkpoint Charlie which was really interesting, very different now from when my parents were there in the 1970's when the wall was up. We saw more churches and visited the Brandenburg Tor which was fantastic but on a very very cold day!
So after a great week of training in Berlin it was off to the airport on the way to sunny Madrid.