On June 14,·our team of five·athletes and two coaches arrived·arrived in Guadalajara Mexico for a 10 day training camp, and to compete at the NORCECA (North, Central America, Caribbean) Championships. The competition was the test event for the Pan American Games and took place primarily at the Club Hipica, where eventing (show jumping, cross country and dressage)·will also take place during the Games. Training here was a positive experience as it exposed us to different weather, altitude, facilities, and training partners. John and Denis did a commendable job driving, which provided a good dose of amusement everyday.
The NORCECA Championships took place Friday (women's individual event), Saturday (men's individual event), and Sunday (relay events). Kelly Fitzsimmons contested the women's event, along with our other three girls. Angela Ives, PC President, also attended the competition in her role as NORCECA Vice-president.
The women's event saw Donna finish 5th, Mel 8th, Mathea 10th, and Kelly 13th. Donna had a strong combined event moving up from 12th. Mathea had a very strong fence. And all women swam relatively well given the altitude. Kelly enjoyed her first major international competition. On the men's side, Joshua finished 7th, and Chris 10th.
I was relatively happy with the day and I look forward to returning to training to work on improving further. The relay day, was the most exciting as Canada earned three team medals. In the women's event, Mathea and Kelly finished 3rd behind a speedy Mexican team and the USA. In the mixed relay, Canada won the top two spots, with Donna and I taking 1st, and Melanie and Chris taking 2nd. This was a quite strong achievement and it was nice to see all three Canadian teams earn medal positions. Hearing the national anthem after your event is an honour.
Next week the World Cup Final takes place, which is the test event for the 2012 Olympics. I did not qualify a spot, and given how strong my World Cup ranking was last year, this is really a bummer for me. It hurts to not be attending, but I am trying to take the most positive approach rather than dwell on it. There is a lot of work, competition, and fun ahead and I'm consciously focusing my attention there. Right now I am taking a couple days to relax with family and friends, before returning to the routine. I look forward to being back in Calgary very much. It's been over two weeks and I feel like so much has happened since I left. I missed track nationals which were in Calgary and as I understand a very exciting meet. That is it for now. Back to training and working toward London. Thanks for reading! Josh.