What a historical day it was yesterday.
With a rather late wakeup, we made our way to the rink for a pre-game skate around noon. It was a longer pre-game skate than I anticipated, usually it is 30 minutes, now it’s 45 minutes. Anyways, pre-game skate was good and you could tell that it was the day of the first important game. It was gameday behavior for many, which is different than a regular day. Much more focus, much more serious and much more quiet.
In the afternoon, we had quite some off time, which I used for a longer nap, it being two hours. I really needed those two hours though. The schedule has been tough and tight and I am still trying to catch up on the sleep I lost due to doping control.
After the nap, we had a team meeting and a snack/dinner before we drove to the rink.
It was during the drive to the rink where it really hit me about the significance of that game we were about to play. Along the streets on the way to the rink where hundreds and hundreds of people standing waiving the united Korea flag. I started getting nervous…
Once at the rink, I got into my regular pre-game routines and it felt really good. I was excited to play a game again, excited to play at the Olympics again. When it was time for on-ice warm-up and I saw all the people in the stands already, I got goosebumps. Warm-up went well and when I got back into the locker room, I had to refocus and get my tunnel “vision” going. It felt more difficult yesterday than it did in other games, but I knew I only had to focus on my game and not the historical part of the game.
Yet, that refocusing went well but I lost it again right when we were standing on the blue line before the puck drop. It was a very special atmosphere in the arena and the crowd was cheering really loudly. I got really nervous here.
Once I was in my crease, I went through my focus points yet again and knew right away, that now it’s all good. I’m fully focused on the game. It was a good feeling to finally get it and know that I won’t get distracted. When the game started the entire game was a bit nervous, but soon from our side we were able to put that nervousness down and just play.
I did not have much to do during that game, only 8 shots on net. It was my first time facing Korea, and I was very surprised by how good they played yesterday, especially their goalie that was absolutely incredible in net. She’s the backbone of that team and she stood on her head yesterday. We ended up winning the game 8-0 which was a great start for us. With that game being over, the focus switched to the Japan game that we play tomorrow.
After such an historical and late game, I had trouble falling asleep right away when we got back to the village at around 1:30am. I had a rather short night again, so I was happy that we had a relaxed day today. We went on the ice for a 70-minute practice and then the rest of the day we were off. I decided to go to the beach and just enjoy it there, it was absolutely beautiful. So nice weather, but very very very cold and very windy.
Now I’m excited for another gameday against Japan tomorrow!