Rice tennis player
Dominique Harmath is representing Canada at the 2013 World University Games in
Kazan, Russia and will be sending updates throughout her time at the games:
I can sum up these two amazing weeks as simply as this: Hard work pays off.
The opportunity to play at the World
University Games was worth everything I put into the sport of tennis. I was
able to compete at a very high level of competition and experiences like this
continue to motivate me to play the sport I love.
Russian culture was intriguing to see and I really enjoyed experiencing it up
close. At the same time, the games had a unique culture all its own. Gear trading certainly was a large part of the
experience. Hundreds of athletes would gather in the center of the village
every night to swap clothing. I made some good deals with athletes from Uruguay,
Australia, Portugal, and Brazil.
But more than just while trading
items, what was most fascinating was seeing the improvisation in communication
taking place between different countries. You would see Serbians communicating
with the Croatians, and the Brazilians, Spaniards, Italians, and French with
each other. Without knowing each other's language, the athletes would still
find a way to communicate.
trip ended with the closing ceremony that proved to be another one for the
books. It included a recap of some gold medal moments that gave the entire
stadium goose bumps. It was another reminder of why athletes train so
hard. The feeling of euphoria that comes
with success makes everything worthwhile.
reading along these past two weeks. I
know it's a long flight, but I am looking forward to getting home again. It's hard to believe that the start of my
senior year is just around the corner.
I missed yesterday, which was successful but very busy. I started with my
opening match in singles consolation, which I won 6-0, 6-0 over a girl from New
Zealand and then Isade Juneau and I opened play in mixed doubles against a team
from Madagascar and won 6-4., 6-2.
wish I could say our momentum carried over in mixed doubles today, but we lost
a heartbreaker to the fifth seeded team from Korea. We won the first set 6-3, but they came back
to win the second, and then won the tiebreaker 10-12. I'm not done with my tennis, since I play Ellie
Yates from USC (editor's note: a number
of American collegiate teams are representing American in various events in
Kazan. Yates was a combined 14-2 as a
freshman for USC, primarily playing #6 singles).
continues to surprise me. Despite the language barrier, we seem to be managing with
hand gestures. It took us some time to order a McFlurry from McDonalds today
and after we were able to get the basic message across, we gave the cashier
the decision of choosing our flavor. The ice cream was well worth the
also ventured outside the athlete's village gates for the first time and took a
cab to the Canada-Russia soccer game. Driving in Russia is nothing like driving
in America, but on the other hand, the soccer game kept us on edge. We were
well out-numbered in the stands but were highly entertained with the the Russian chants going back and forth from one side of the stadium to the
were also able to watch some gold medal events and at the end of this buys day,
I seem to have lost my voice after all the cheering.
atmosphere of the games is continuously energizing and I'm looking forward to
the week ahead.
had an off day today from competition so I spent the time cheering on my
teammates at the tennis courts.
then moved to cheer Canada on in water polo and men's soccer. As you can see
from the photo to the left, the atmosphere was fantastic and full of energy
with cheer battles going on left and right between fans for each country.
soccer team tied Brazil 1-1 to move on to the playoffs. I'm hoping to support
my fellow Americans in some events when I get the chance as well.
I will be playing my mixed doubles and singles consolation match tomorrow so it
will be a busy day on the courts.
That's all for today
After another long wait because of
the rain, I finally was able to get on the court to play my first singles
match, but as you might have seen from the scores, things did not go well for
me. I lost 6-2, 6-0.
I definitely had my chances, but I
have to give my opponent from Korea (Mirea Ham) a lot of credit. She was a solid player all through the match.
I still have the consolation draw in
singles to play and on Thursday we open Mixed Doubles play. Tomorrow will be a day devoted to rooting on
my teammates on the Canadian Tennis team, as well as cheering for Canada in
water polo and soccer.
It was a long day waiting for the
rain to stop and I am pretty tired, so that's about it for today.
Talk to you tomorrow,
My first match was rained
out today! We waited around for five hours before they finally
postponed things but we found a funny way to kill the time. While we sat there waiting for some updates,
the volunteers at the tournament venue began approaching us.
Despite the language
barrier, two of my Canadian teammates Phil (Anderson who plays at New Mexico) and
Isade (Juneau who played for Indiana) had no problem entertaining the crowd with
their combined total of three words they knew in Russian and Tartar. The photo on the right shows them entertaining
They're calling for rain
tomorrow as well, but I'll keep my fingers crossed it doesn't come back. I'm
scheduled to not start before 11 am. (2 a.m. Houston time).
Thanks and I will check
was one of the best days of my life so far. The festivities began when we
arrived at the stadium and had to wait 2.5 hours before we could walk. We made
exceptional use of that time to trade pins with other countries and met some
great people along the way.
the opening ceremony rolled around it was much more than I expected with more
than 45k in attendance. The show included a performance from Cirque de Soleil
and a speech from Vladimir Putin, the president of the Russian Federation.
was even more surreal was the fact that I was able to play a part in the whole
event, walking a lap around the stadium with Team Canada waving to the cheering
crowd. It was definitely a night to remember.
Vine video that I took from our seats: https://vine.co/v/hW0bJTqXXHa
another video shot by the Canadian Interuniversity Sport: http://youtu.be/c_3zEKjNomg
for singles come out today and competition begins on Monday at 9 a.m. Kazan
time, which is nine hours ahead of Houston time. Here is the schedule and results link: http://english.cis-sic.ca/universiade/summer/2013/sports/tennis/sched_results