Berlin hosted the European Olympic Qualification tournament this year, so we’ve been watching A LOT of volleyball.
Luckily, it was all very exciting. The winner of this tournament would earn a place at the Rio games, with 2nd and 3rd place teams getting the chance to travel to Japan in May to compete in the last chance/Asian olympic qualifier. Team Germany lost a heartbreaker of a third place match to Poland thus bringing their olympic dreams to an end. The Polish team and fans meanwhile celebrated like they had already made it to Rio. God love the Polish fans. They are numerous, loud and passionate, and without their cheers the arena would have been a little sad. German fans can be loud…but it’s always that very uniform, orderly sort of cheering- not the slightly drunk, spontaneous enthusiasm you want. Oh, and the German tournament organizers brought out THE WORST mascot I’ve ever seen in my life.
That’s a volleyball, but I assure you, from the stands it looked like some second-rate piece of crap someone dug out of a basement. It’s creepy and stupid, and they even made up an inane song for it to dance to that absolutely NOBODY clapped for. The most exciting team of the tournament was France. They crushed everyone in group and semifinal stage, but lost their mojo in the final going down to Russia. I still hope they go to the Olympics because they’re good for volleyball. They play a brash, daring, explosive kind of volleyball that is sure to attract newcomers to the sport. Plus, their big star, Ngapeth, has a bit of a bad boy reputation (well earned after a string of fights and possible hit and run), so he’s an interesting story in addition to being pretty impressive on the court. The French fans were a ton of fun, and gave the Poles a run for their money in terms of belting out their national anthem.
So, at the end of it all, Russia advances to Rio while France and Poland will be coming to Japan. Who knows, maybe the Volleyroos will be able to knock one of them out!
If you have any interest, here’s a few videos the CEV made from the tournament.
In other sports news…
Apparently Drake is a Pepperdine basketball fan now
And we’re nearly through the 30th week. whaaaaa?
PC has started up again with Bundesliga, and won MVP the other night. MVP is always a little bit of BS, but hey, celebrate the little victories. 🙂