Paralympics Day 4 – Goalball
Sunday was our BIG DAY at the Paralympics. We spent 14 (!) hours in the Olympic Park. I can’t tell you how exhausted I was afterwards. At some point, I couldn’t focus anymore on any sports going on right in front of me. But it was a good exhaustion. 🙂
We arrived at the Olympic Park early in the morning. It rained.
This volunteer explained to us that it is, in fact, NOT rain, but LIQUID SUNSHINE. Who can argue with that? And to be true, just having him shout this out, made us all feel like there was sunshine!
Then we had our obligatory pic taken in front of the entrance.
Our first session of the day was Goalball.
Well, if you have never heard of Goalball before this Paralympics, join the club. But trust me when I tell you watching Goalball matches is fun. Remember that for RIO 2016!
The rules are easy. There is a ball, there is a goal. Get the ball in the goal. AHA!
This is a sports for the visually impaired. In order to have an equal playing field, all players wear blindfolds.
Here is what the field looks like.
This was the first match of the day: Spain vs Great Britain. There are 3 players in each team. They need to get the ball from their half of the field into the goal. The ball needs to be rolled. It is not allowed to bounce too high. We learned that there are penalties for that. The defending team will then throws themselves on the floor in order to block the ball from getting into the goal.
The British team won this match. What Spain was lacking in goals though, they made up in creativity. They were very good at pirouetting before they threw the ball or throwing the ball through their legs.
We saw three matches. We noticed that being tall is not necessarily helpful in this game. You may think so (we did…) as you can block out more area while you throw yourselves to the ground, but tall players lack the speed in getting up and throwing the ball back before the other team reforms after their throw.
The Japanese team was pretty fast. Their players would turn around a ball so fast, you couldn’t even follow their throw sometimes. They didn’t manage to get a goal though during the game that we watched.
If you get a chance, go watch the finals or semi-finals. It is a fun sports to watch!