Five fencers and one coach came to Vango for two and a half weeks. At that time my hip was still a problem for the first two weeks. Then when it got better the training was a bit more relax moving towards the world cup in Vancouver. I did not do all the conditioning with them but all fencing practices and group lessons were a must. Very painful but still necessary because I needed the training. It was at that point that I started to look into the cortisone shot avenue. Then, Shaman
Nader happened (see next blog) and everything was back to normal.
We had a local tournament in Vango Toronto when Team China was there and they all participated to the tournaments. It was a great opportunity for the local fencers and the members of the club to see and fence the national team of China. I approach the tournament only with the intention to finish on the podium to have access to the cash prizes they gave for medalist. I did need the money and only the registration was 50$. At the end, the gold medal was worth 500$, the silver 250$, and bronze medals 125$ each. So my plan was to do extremely well in pool to avoid any Chinese until semi-finals. I won everything and only received 2 hits. I was ranked second and did not have any Chinese in my way until the podium. Once in semi-final, I was fencing one of the Chinese (Shi Gao Feng) and lost 12-10 in the last minute of passivity. It was a pretty good bout and both of us fenced well.
After the tournament, we had a couple of days of training before leaving for the world cup in Vancouver. The hip was better and I was very happy that I could sleep well again. It was very nice to see some of my old friends from China and train with them like old times. Old times being two years ago maximum but it feels like it's been an eternity and a half.