Alex DeYoung is a goaltender representing the United States with the Team USA Junior Men's Inline Hockey Team in the 2012 Fédération Internationale de Roller Sports (FIRS) World Championships in Bucaramanga, Colombia from June 30 to July 14. Alex is a high school student in Northern Virginia, and the only member of the 16-player team from Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Area. Over the next few weeks, he will be writing about the tournament from his perspective.
We landed at the Bucaramanga airport yesterday. We got our luggage and went to our bus where there was a huge crowd and a mariachi band. When we got on the bus we met our translator, Juan. We were taken to our hotel, which has tons of guards at the front gate. The hotel is completely outdoors, and we have a huge pool next to our rooms. There's also a bar and a restaurant next to our rooms.
When I woke up this morning, I felt great. I thought at first I'd have trouble falling asleep because my bed was harder than the floor, but I slept like a baby. I woke up at 12 and went to breakfast with the team. When we got to breakfast, our coach told us not to us not to touch the food in the fridge because of the cost. If he'd told me when we got there the night before then I'd be 20,000 pesos richer right now.
After breakfast we got on our bus and met our police escorts. They had one vehicle in front of our bus, one behind our bus, and an officer on our bus. We took them lightly at first, but then realized how scary-serious the situation is when we saw their guns. On multiple occasions one of our guards almost got hit by a car or motorcycle while stopping traffic for us.
When we got to the town of Girón, we felt like celebrities. We had tons of people asking to take pictures with us. We also saw a huge billboard on a road advertising the tournament. We saw people dancing in the plaza and one of our players started break-dancing with them. After that, we went back to our hotel and had team dinner and free time.
Tomorrow we have practice at the arena at 11am and then free time for the rest of the day.