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.
July 1 – Today we were supposed to have a quick trip to Colombia’s version of the Grand Canyon [Chicamocha National Park, about 30 miles from Bucaramanga], but things didn’t go exactly as planned.
When we got to the canyon, it was a beautiful sight. Our police escorts pushed us to the front of a 2-hour line to ride a cable car to the other side of the canyon.
When we got to the other side, we had 2 hours to explore. My teammates Gannon Karmire, Spenser Marquiss, Anthony Corrao, and I rode a zip-line across part of the valley. At the bottom of the zip-line, they have huge pads with a spring behind it that you crash into to stop. When I was about to hit the pad, everyone on the platform started motioning and yelling to me. I thought they were saying “hi,” but I now know that they were motioning me to use brakes on the zip-line to slow myself down. Our translator told me that they’d never seen anyone hit the pad as hard as I did.
After the zip-line, we went back to the cable car boarding area to meet with our team. Part of our team didn’t show up until 45 minutes after the meeting time. Our police escorts told us that we’d angered the locals by skipping the line earlier, so he said we had to send three of our players onto the cable cars every ten minutes. When it got down to five of our players left, the locals and the park authorities stopped letting us through at all, and there was a huge argument. After four hours of arguing we finally got to ride the cable car back to our bus.
We are about to go to a midnight practice that we just found out about. Tomorrow [July 2] we play Mexico at 6:30.