Welcome to the CAN Fund Athlete Blog!
This is where Canadian Athletes will be posting as they train and prepare to represent Canada on the World Stage! Keep up to date on when and where our athletes are training and competing!

Monday, November 22, 2010

DONNA VAKALIS - Modern Pentathlon

Rio de Janeiro, 2010 Pan American Championships  

 I am writing this from an 18th floor hotel room overlooking Copacabana on a 28 degree day.  This room with an amazing view and proximity to a famous tourist beach is not the level of luxury one usually experiences at an international pentathlon competition. Actually, the competition--- the 2010 Modern Pentathlon Pan American Championships and NORCECA [[North American, Central American and the Caribbean] Championships ended yesterday.  This morning I packed up my bulky equipment bags, checked out of our official competition hotel expecting to fly back to gritty Ontario weather (and return to gritty winter training regimen). After getting to the airport,  all the way through customs and on to the airplane, after doing up the buckle of my seat belt on the airplane, things took a turn. 

My teammate Mathea Stevens was on the same flight.  I will skip over the play-by-play details here [....] and jump to the conclusion that has us both enjoying a complimentary night in an upscale part of Rio de Janeiro. Mathea and I were pulled off our plane due to our sporting equipment being held up. We have sorted it out. And into the bargain of this unexpected extra night in Rio, we have an opportunity for much coveted rest and a much appreciated dose of vitamin D.  

So here I am reporting to you on my day off in Rio.  Our Canadian National Team, including two CAN Fund recipients (myself and teammate Joshua Riker-Fox), came to Brazil this weekend and attained no fewer than seven podium finishes.  [Pause here for a quick recap of the pentathlon competition day... from pente “five” + athlon “contest” .... in a single exciting day,  the pentathlete competes in 5 disciplines in this order: 1. Fencing.  2.  Swimming.  3. Equestrian showjumping. 4 +5.  Combined run and shoot event! ]  The Canadian pentathletes medaled in each of individual, team and relay categories, in both the men's and women's events. Again and again the Canadian flag was hoisted for the podium presentations.  One highlight was team Canada taking the gold in the women's team category, ahead of strong teams fielded by countries like Cuba and the USA.  And then the next day our women's relay edged out strong contenders to earn one of two coveted quota spots for the World Championships in Cairo in 2011.
In total, as a team we took home so much hardware that it has taken some extra skillful packing to not be caught for extra weight at the airport check-in. 


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