Evi Gargalianos Diary from World University GamesAugust 25, 2003 · MT Media Relations
Day 1: 08/20/2003
Finally after 21 hours of traveling, I arrived in South Korea at 11:30pm (9am of the same day, MT time). Being so tired and overwhelmed by the long trip, I didn't try to pay much attention to anything but how to get to my room and rest. The one thing that made a strong first impression to me was the extremely hot and unbearably humid climate of Korea. The weather made me feel even more tired so by the time I got to the Athlete's Village and my room, the only thing that was in my mind was getting some good rest for the next day's match against China.
Day 2: 08/21/2003
Under the influence of jet lag, I woke up at 7:00am to have breakfast and prepare for our first match at 11:00. That morning I found out that not all the Greek National players for the women's' volleyball team that were supposed to come actually came, because of some problems they had with their club teams and coaches back in Greece (club in my country is more important than University sports). So the team was weaker than what it was supposed to be, which showed in our first match. We lost 3-0 against China and it wasn't a game at a very high level.
After the match, we went straight back to our rooms and spent the rest of the day in the Athletes' Village. You can find athletes from around the world there. It is really fascinating being able to interact with so many people of so many different cultures in the same space. There is so much diversity, and yet we are all here under the same purposes: to compete and gain experience, inside the court or out.
Day 3: 08/22/2003
Today was our one day off, so we took advantage of it. After practicing for two hours in the morning, we made a trip down town to see the city and maybe shop. One thing that made a big impression to me today was how excited the Korean people were that we were amongst them. Everywhere we went, there would be people that wanted to take our pictures, and just shaking their hand put a big smile on their faces, making us feel more than welcome. After a busy day, we went to our beds at around 11pm. Next we have a game against Ukraine, which is also expected to be tough, so we need all the rest we can get.
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