After some pretty successful heats this morning Team USA went back to their hotel knowing they had 8 chances for medals. Standing currently in second place overall they were hoping for more room on the leader board between them and Korea. Colombia is so far ahead that nobody can catch them unless they just went home.
While the skaters were at their hotel, the parents went on a little adventure. We ventured into Guarne and had lunch in what seemed like a strip mall. The place was very small but the flavor, size, and value of the meal was incredible. We ate the “famous” soup (I can’t remember the name) that was made of chicken, potatoes, corn and incredible broth. We were told this soup was first made in Medellin and is considered famous. In addition to the soup we were also served chicken, beef, or pork, rice, French fries, salad, and a drink for $4.50. This is the Colombia that we know, not the price gouging of worlds or any other major event.
After lunch we took the Chinese Taipei translator and the English announcer with us through the city, which at first glance seems somewhat small but once we ventured in we quickly learned that Guarne has a lot going on at any time of day or night.
As we were walking we found a great deal of shops, pasty shops (which I intend on visiting) and an amazing church. While we were walking it began raining. We all got soaked but in the process were able to watch a parade and somehow ended up in the parade. This may be something that you would only appreciate if you were there but this was really one amazing adventure.
The parade was taking place to celebrate the Flower Festival. We ended up right in the middle of a man dressed as a tiger in a cage, a man on stilts dressed in red and black who was running and jumping around in the rain, and a pretty young lady who was running through the crowd with a can of soap spraying it on everyone. This was complete with a marching band, dancers and of course many flowers.
After we got through the parade we decided that we needed to see the church. It’s steeple is the tallest thing in the city, it’s doors were wide open, it’s statues of Jesus were breath-taking. It is a very big church that is a lot longer inside than what you would think from looking at it from the outside. Some of us are planning on attending Mass one day while we are here.
After spending a few minutes at the church and purchasing our rosary beads we headed back to the track in the rain. We were soaked by the time we got back but the rain did clear up and the racing got underway pretty much right on time.
This night was very successful for some Team USA members but heartbreaking for others. The US team would see no placements in the junior 500s or the senior ladies relay. Joey won another gold in his 1000 meter in what was quite possibly the most exciting race of the event so far. He seemed to be playing with them a little and only Joey can make that exciting for the spectators. But, there came a point where he took off and even though he was not too far in front, there was no way they were going to pass him or even catch him. Sara also turned it on in her 1000 meter to come away with a silver medal. We never get tired of watching her crank it up and fly around the track.
Darian, Hailey, and Kimi won a silver medal in their relay after Korea had been disqualified for being in the relay area. The thing is, from where I was sitting, Colombia did this same thing. Once when Korea did it and then on another occasion. No matter, the team is happy with the silver medal. Our junior men’s team would also see their relay medal dreams come true tonight as well, as Mario, Brandon, and Drew skated the race of their lives to pull off silver. The senior men also skated the race of their lives tonight as there were many slips during tag that made them somewhat shaky at times but Joey, Harry, and Will are true professionals who know how to get the job done and that is exactly what they did by pulling off another silver medal.
So far many of Team USA skaters have medaled. There are however, many who are still trying, hoping, praying and dying inside for a medal. There are 4 senior ladies, 2 junior ladies, 3 junior men, and 3 senior men who are still waiting for their time to celebrate. We hope that all of them will get that chance to join the other greats who have taken Team USA to the second spot on the leader board.
Even though this year’s world championships got off to a shaky start; the team has had half of its members medal and now their standing after the track portion of the competition is in 2nd place overall with 12 medals. We will be praying for even more on the road.