“Orange at Deaflympics Opening Water Ballet” | football

The header is off, but the Orange team’s opening game at Deaflympics will be with everyone for a long time to come. When we woke up on race day, we already had some bad news. The international match against Iran was postponed for four hours and moved to another stadium because the stadium became unplayable due to heavy rain.

The water has been like a true monsoon over this part of Brazil for 24 hours, where the sun is expecting but now it looks like autumn. Rarely have I experienced such a chaotic period leading up to an international match. Apparently, the organization was also suddenly improvising. The team buses did not come and when the bus finally arrived it was stormed by the Iranian selection. We can wait longer.

However, everyone was really looking forward to the match and tension rose. On the alternate court, it turned out that the stadium was barely playable there. The organization was still on its way, and the judging came after half an hour … During the warm-up period, the first 30 meters of the field had already been plowed.

water ballet

It had become a major water ballet and five minutes later the outcome of this unplayable field was painfully obvious. Our playmaker Jill Thrills is out with a serious knee injury. Jilly could no longer control his emotions, and was completely shattered. He put in so much effort to raise money for this cool orange adventure in Deaflympics and then this hit him. We had to comfort him as a team that night.

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Jill will have to watch from the side for the rest of the tournament. It is unfortunately no different. A huge healing from all of us, my generation. And presided over!

Wet field in Brazil.

Wet field in Brazil.

Iran has a strong team in Deaflympics, but for the first time I wonder if all the players are really hard of hearing. Why do I say that? Iranian players can hear their coach from the sidelines… The audio recordings taken are unreliable.

Semi-professional in Iran

Players also give the impression that they are all semi-professionals. They have been able to put all their work aside over the past three months to prepare for this tournament all those months. The Iranian government pays them all.

It’s a different world to us. We have to pay our own travel costs for the Dutch national team for training and matches, everyone has to work alongside football and we have to make their own contribution to the trip to Brazil. We are not recognized as the best athletes in the Netherlands, so the teams have a huge advantage abroad.

With this backdrop and the injuries the orange had, the 2-0 first-half delay was no shame. After the break we kept fighting, but in the last stage the Iranians ran out (4-0).

We remain positive and with three matches remaining, anything is possible. We are slowly getting used to Brazilian time and (wet) climate.

Judoka gold medal by Albert Westerhof

In another branch of the sport, judo, there was great success at the beginning of the Deaflympics Games. Judoka Albert Westerhoff actually hit his opponent with an ippon on the back in the first round and went on to win. In the final, he defeated the strong Kazak Dibek. This means the first gold. At the hotel it was a party for him and it was nice to have a jelly around his neck. Joy and sadness in the best sport captured in one place.

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