Kristina Valjas

Team Canada Beach Volleyball // 2016 Olympian

April to June update

The first part of the season has just flown by! I can't believe it's the end of June already. Here's a quick update on what I've been up to in the last 3 months:

April

Our first two World Tour events were in China. The first was an Open in Fuzhou and next we played a Grand Slam in Shanghai. We played some good ball, but kept coming up short in our games. We didn't manage to advance to the playoff rounds in either tournament. Frustrating, but so much to take away from that experience. 

Although the results were disappointing, there was at least one big moment, a major life milestone, if you will. Jamie tasted her first McDonald's Big Mac in Fuzhou, China. It was special.


If anything, those results fuelled our hunger for some results in the next opportunity we had to compete.....

....which wasn't until June! There was a break for the month of May, in which we regrouped and trained hard in Toronto. The weather was beautiful so we got to train on our home sand at Ashbridges Bay. 

June 

I was lucky enough to spend my birthday at home, and even luckier to have my whole family there to celebrate with me!

Jamie's birthday is a few days after mine, and unfortunately it happened to be a travel day! We flew to Europe for 3 tournaments in a row. 

Moscow, Russia

Not a bad view from our hotel room! 

We faced teams from Canada, USA and Russia in pool play and met up with Slovakia in the first round of playoffs. We eventually lost to the top Chinese team to earn a 9th place finish. 

We were happy with our teamwork here in Russia, this was a result that showed us our training and hard work are leading us in the right direction. We had delicious borscht soup to celebrate!

I love beets.


Moving on to Berlin, Germany.
This is such a neat city. Some of the competition courts were right outside a beautiful train station.

Sadly, we did not have any good results here. Our play was a little flat and we just couldn't manage to have points go our way. It was tough, especially coming off a high note in Moscow, but definitely a wake up call. We are going to have to work our butts off to earn every single point, because everyone out here is just as hungry as we are for the win. 

Despite the loss, we still managed to stay positive and appreciate the fact that our journey has lead us to such a wonderful part of the world. It was great to meet up with fellow UofT indoor volleyball teammates and alums. They reminded me that I have one of the coolest jobs in the world, and although it's tough to take the losses sometimes, I can't take a single moment for granted. It's all part of the process and I feel so lucky to be able to do what I do!

Onward to Stavanger, Norway!

What a beautiful town! The courts are set up along the side of the water, where you have beautiful little buildings to one side of you 

and sail boats and giant cruise ships to the other. Main Draw starts tomorrow! We'll find out who's in our pool tonight at the technical meeting. Let's GO!

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