A day in the Youth Olympic Games village
Singapore, Singapore, August, 19, 2010 - There are two days to go before the Volleyball tournament starts at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games but life is never boring for United States girls’ Volleyball captain Samantha Cash while living in the Youth Olympic Village.
“I like the food here,” Cash said. “Some people do not, but I like it because I enjoy trying new things.”
After breakfast, Cash has a couple of hours of free time before practice. During that time, she e-mails her parents, or walks around in the quad and visits the booths representing the different continents designed to teach the athletes about various parts of the world.
“I had my name written in calligraphy at one booth, learned how to make sand art at another, and played a lot of games,” Cash said.
In the afternoon, the players take a 15-minute bus ride to practice.
“We are not allowed inside the practice facility until the other team is done practicing, and other teams are not allowed inside to watch us,” Cash said. “It is pretty intense. If we have to use the restroom, they have to escort us in, and make sure that we come straight out.”
Since a lot of the United States players have not played together, head coach Rodney Wilde has the players go through drills designed to learn each other’s tendencies on the court.
After practice, Cash spends more time hanging out and visiting booths in the Youth Olympic Village until dinner.
When dinner ends, Cash and her teammates usually sit down to watch a movie, but they get easily distracted. They have met some girls from the Great Britain athletics team that they have become friends with, and consider United States gymnast Jesse Glenn an “honorary volleyball player.” They also enjoy trading pins from their countries with athletes from other nations.
Cash and her teammates are very popular with locals and fans because they are so tall. They often spend a lot of time taking pictures with supporters.
“Once one person asks us for a picture, lots of people want pictures with us,” Cash said. “Sometimes, we will stand there smiling and taking pictures for 30 minutes. It is really cool.”