Greetings from Andrew Dabeka

Tuesday, August 5, 2008 11:46 AM

Dear Friends and Supporter,

Day 3 in Beijing is coming to a close for me.... We have had a very time the past couple of days, with long driving times to get to the training hall (45min each way) and having to walk several minutes to the cafeteria (it really adds up when you have to go there 4 times a day!). Everything in the village is sort of spread out, so I have really been improving my walking fitness! I should think about a career in racewalking when this is all over!

We got to practice for an hour in the main tournament hall today. That was a treat. It is the best venue I have ever played in. Immaculate! I am very much looking forward to a few more days of hitting to get really used to it. I will play my first match on the 10th of August, and 11:10am, local time. That's 11:10pm in Ottawa. I will look to see if they have live scoring/streaming, so that you all can follow the match. I'll be playing Park Sung Hwan, from Korea. Those of you who have followed my earlier emails the past year may have seen that name before. I have played him three times now in the past year. I am looking forward to this time. I know his game well and I think I can win. I have had the best preparations of my life this summer, and really am feeling strong and ready. So that's that on the match front.

More and more athletes are arriving each day and this place is starting to bustle with activity. Here in the village, there is a light-hearted feeling from most people. Obviously they are putting on their gamefaces at their respective practice sites, but in the village, I think everyone is trying to relax and stay fresh prior to the start of their events. It will be interesting to see if there will be a shift in the overall attitude of most as their competition days approach...I have a feeling there will be many more people wandering around with their mp3 players in their ears, just doing their own thing and focusing on their own performances...I know that's how I will be in a couple more days! But right now, I will do my training and then enjoy village life where I can!

I need to sleep!!



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