Friday, March 28, 2008

Tales from the trip, European Footbag Championships 2000 in Paris

My partner Sébastien Perron has a blog referring to his numerous adventures while touring for demonstrating the Handsack game.

I had some pretty amazing stories happening to me while traveling for Footbag. For example in 2000 I went to the European Championships in Paris. You have to know that I have to wear knee braces to play after pretty extensive surgeries. At the time I had a brace on my right knee and I had just exploded it after sliding to try to retrieve an out of control Footbag. That had happened at the Quebec tournement. So we were practicing on july 14th, kind of a general warm-up before the tournament. Another ball was shanked far away from me and I rushed to it to try to kick it back to my partner. I slid again and exploded my brace one more time. July 14th is the national day of France so, as you can imagine, everything is closed. There was no question in my mind that without my brace I had to skip the tournament which would have been heartbreaking as I traveled specifically for that. I was also the 1999 singles net champion and I really wanted to defend.

So I asked around to the organizers and other frenchmen. They suggested that I asked the Park guardians, which I did. Something magical happened right there, the first guy I talked to had a little motorbike repair shop in its garage. He was in a small club of bike lovers and they were doing their own tweaking of engines etc... I explained how he could easily fix it by drilling a couple of hole and joining the ruptured side metal bar side with a smaller metal piece and 2 screws. One hour later the guy came back with the brace fixed, never wanted me to pay him or anything and was just very modest about it.

I finally ended up winning singles and doubles net (with danish player Jakob Hall) at this tournament and I had a blast. It's common to hear that Parisians are nasty and rude, well don't count me in to propagate that image because besides that particular story I've always been treated great in the city of lights.

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