This article is by Shirley Bryan, on your extreme left. I believe Shirley has captured the essence of International Shuffleboard in her last 2 paragraphs in italics. As we are now talking about the Olympics, (2014) I believe this statement by Shirley would be an ideal objective for those participating in Sochi in 2014. Stan writing on 2014 01 26.
Shirley Writes: Back in February, while in Florida, we heard of an “inaugural” event taking place in Sochi, Russia in May. Knowing nothing about inaugurals, Charlie and I decided we would like to participate. A telephone call to Beth Allen gave us all the information we needed to become part of a group of 40 travellers leaving from JFK airport on May 23rd.
During April and early May, we began to wonder if we had made a mistake. Every few days brought a new obstacle on the path to obtaining a Russian visa. Finally, all of the difficulties were solved and our visas arrived on May 9th – two weeks before our journey began.
Then came the long day of travelling -3 air flights, 2 long layovers, and an eight hour time change. Again we wondered, had we made a mistake?
Absolutely not! We were overwhelmed, amazed and thrilled by every aspect of our six day stay in Sochi. Words cannot describe the hospitality we received, the generosity of our hosts or the beauty of our surroundings.
On the weekend were the tournament days. It was exciting to be playing shuffleboard in Russia – a sport that we both love – against participants from Germany, United States and Russia. The five Russian players had spent just one day learning the game so they could play in the tournament. They were eager and so excited when they made their shots. We seasoned players were just as excited for them. The round-robin format of the tournament was excellent.
Everyone played nearly all day both days, and between games, enjoyed watching others playing. The spirit of friendship among players was evident on all of the six courts. Laughter, praise and chatter was heard in every corner of the gymnasium. Spectators clapped to acknowledge all good shots.
Each of the 48 participants in the tournament came home a winner – having made new friends and shared new experiences with Russians, Americans, Germans and Canadians. It was an experience of a lifetime for Charlie and myself and we sincerely thank Beth and Jim Allen and Dieter and Birgitt Hussmann for the opportunity to attend an “inaugural”. Because of their hard work and help to each member of the group – Sochi was a huge success!