Alex DeYoung is a goaltender representing the United States with the Team USA Junior Men’s Inline Hockey Team in the 2012 Fédération Internationale de Roller Sports (FIRS) World Championships in Bucaramanga, Colombia from June 30 to July 14. Alex is a high school student in Northern Virginia, and the only member of the 16-player team from Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Area. Over the next few weeks, he will be writing about the tournament from his perspective.
I arrived in Miami after a three hour flight from Washington. It took me quite a few tries to get my goalie gear bag under 50 lbs so it could be checked on the plane. My dad enjoyed laughing at me when he boarded first class and I had to wait in a very long line to get onto the plane. When we were boarding the shuttle to the hotel in Miami, the driver insisted on putting my gear bag with the other luggage for me. I told him it was very heavy, and he said not to worry about it. He sounded like he was passing a kidney stone when he tried to lift my equipment bag into the shuttle.
When I got to the hotel, the team manager Jeff Weedman gave me my room key and had his son, Carl, take me to a banquet room full of equipment from our sponsors. I got Team USA gear of various sizes. I wonder how I ended up getting a 2XL polo shirt and a medium t-shirt. I got tons of shorts, t-shirts, polo shirts, and jackets. The skaters got gloves from Alkali, helmets from Bauer, pants from Mission and Reebok, and two a.i. 9 sticks from Reebok. Carl and I are getting Reebok goalie equipment when we get home. They unfortunately couldn’t make our pads in time for the competition.
When I walked into my room I met my roommate, Kyle DeVault. He seemed like a nice guy at first, but when I heard he was from Pittsburgh, I feared the worst. (Note: DeVault is from Greensburg, PA) My fears became reality when I asked him what his favorite NHL team was, and he said the Penguins. Looks like I’m going to need to pull up highlights from the 2011 Winter Classic when he puts his Penguins t-shirt on.
We have team dinner at 4, and then at 5 we get on our bus that takes us to Deerfield Beach Inline hockey arena for practice.