Without any more games for our team, Friday was mostly about trading jerseys and watching games.
Our captain Ken Su reminded us on Friday morning to bring our jerseys if we wanted to trade. After a week of games, we had all been eyeing certain jerseys and now we finally had the chance to trade for them.
(My teammate Jannie traded 1-for-1 for a couple of flashy jerseys: South Africa and India’s entire outfit, Dubai’s jersey, and Italy’s shorts)
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My experience from this week is that if you have something that you really love, don’t be shy – start asking early! Generally speaking, everyone trades for the same type of jersey: long-sleeved for long-sleeved, Â color for color. But not all tradesÂ are necessarily like that. The Team China jerseys are red short-sleeves with an awesome design, and a couple days ago, we already had players coming up to ask if anyone would be willing to trade, but the jerseys I really wanted were the Swiss dark and the Netherlands shorts. On Friday morning, I went up to a group of Swiss girls on the sidelines to ask. It turns out that the dark jersey I wanted was a long-sleeved, so technically I should be using one of my long-sleeved jerseys to trade for it, but the girl said she didn’t really care, so I used my red short-sleeved to trade for the dark Swiss long-sleeved jersey that I really liked. Best of all, the number on the Swiss jersey is the number I usually have! That proves that my choice was a good one.Â A lot of people were asking for the Swiss dark jersey on Friday afternoon, but by that time, they were either all traded off, or the players were asking for long-sleeved jerseys in return.
(Everyone laid out their jerseys and walked around to see which ones they liked)
(Sunny from Hong Kong is trying to trade off his jerseys to people)
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You can go up to the person with the jersey you want and do a trade right there, or you can lay out all your jerseys (the smarter way).
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When people were looking to trade, they would bring their own nationals jerseys, along with other jerseys, shorts,Â and hats. We’d lay out the best of our stuff during our down time, and you could negotiate with people as they came looking for jerseys. The upside of this is that you could use regular tournament jerseys to trade for other people’s national jerseys. People weren’t too shy either to just take off their jersey and trade it right there with you. This time, for instance, I traded 2 shortsÂ and 1 jersey from local (Chinese) teams for the Austrian national jersey, the SwedeÂ national shorts, and a Singaporean club jersey.
There was one New Zealand girl who had wanted to trade for the China jersey three days earlier, but she just wasn’t able to trade for it and didn’t bring any more jerseys to offer. She started panicking and asked if she could just buy it, but my thought was that if you could just use money to buy it, then the jersey loses its meaning. In the end, she went about it in a roundabout way, trading her jersey for a FranceÂ jersey and then using that FranceÂ jersey to get the China jersey.
(Everyone was having a good time on the party bus, and some people had already started drinking)
There were some exciting games lined up for Saturday, but many teams had already finished playing by Friday, and Friday night was the night of the closing ceremony party. It was held in an auditorium, but the lighting gave it more of a club feel. You could see people boarding the shuttle buses to the party as soon as you stepped outside the hotel, and the buses ran continuously between the hotel and the party. Everyone was worried that drinks at the party would be expensive, so people started buying lots of alcohol offÂ the street. Every bus was jam-packed with people, and there were a lot of people singing on our bus.
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Since we didn’t have any more games, we figured we would go all out. It was an awesome atmosphere at the party, and it got everyone excited as we entered the party. There was lots of jumping around and dancing, singing and yelling. If you didn’t enjoy the packed, hot mess on the dance floor, you could always go to the 2nd floor and rest on the couch area, having drinks and chatting with people. Whatever is was, the point was for everyone to have a good time.
(The party was all about having a good time!)
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Saturday was the last day of Worlds, and it was held at a different venue than the rest of the tournament. This time it was at a massive stadium, complete with large screens and professional equipment set-up. The mixed finals were in the morning, and the women’s and open’s division finals were in the afternoon.
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The three US teams all made it into the finals again. Looking around, I felt like although there was a great deal of respect for the strength of the US teams, a lot of people were hoping to see another team that could challenge them. At the stadium,Â everyone was cheering for the team playing against the US, no matter who that was. All the foreigners were loudly shouting “Nippon Nippon”Â during the US-Japan game (open’s division) and cheering along with the Japanese team. I had a guy sitting behind me who would sing loudly every time the Japanese team scored.
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Although it was a little boring to see the US sweeping the divisions, you can’t help but respect their strength. It’s exactly because of how good they are that they allow other national teams to become even better. The awards ceremony followed afterÂ each finals, and the US national anthem resonated throughout Allianz Park three times. As a female player, I saw the American players draped in their flag and listening to their national anthem being played, and even I felt a deep sense of pride. I thought of my women’s team in Shanghai, China’s first women’s teamÂ that we formed last year, and our hopes for raising our level of playing. I hope that one day, we too can be the reason that theÂ Chinese national anthem is playedÂ on the Worlds stage.
A week seems long but flew by quickly. I met up with a lot of old friends but am also happy to have met all of my teammates that I played and fought alongside. Through all the games, I also met a number of new people, but before long, everyone was scattering to go their separate ways.
2016 Worlds in London may be over, but ultimate willÂ always be there.
No matter the place, no matter the time, we all know that ultimate will bring everyone together.
Let’s go, China ultimate!