Trudy Haraldson was half right in her prediction for a medal at the World Master Games in Italy back in early August.
The Red Deer Ladies Fastball League player said it was gold they’d be bringing home but instead the Canadian squad managed to take the bronze medal which was satisfying in its own way.
“To me, it’s your last game and you win it and you have that bronze medal. With silver that means you didn’t win your last game,” she said.
It was a rocky start to the games with the team losing both ends of a double header, getting dropped by a hard hitting Australian team and then being thumped by the other Canadian team entered which lost in the final against Italy.
Haraldson’s squad beat the Italians twice in the round robin which proved to her their team belonged over there.
The following day the players had a chance to rid themselves of the memory and replace them with others with the opening ceremonies where athletes gathered in the piazza and grouped themselves by sport, standing around for about three hours, she said.
“So we got to know a lot of people and we got to do a lot of trading back and forth with head gear and flags and whatever, just swapping back and forth with Canadian stuff.”
All athletes were then marched into the stadium being led by a band with the Italian army and local police on hand, applauding the athletes as well — something Haraldson said was memorable.
“The streets were lined with all the locals and whoever else wanted to watch,” she said. “It was a phenomenal feeling and it gave me goose bumps and it actually brought tears to some of our eyes.”
She said she got to meet players from other sports as well as from other parts of the world like Japan, Germany, Russia and the Czech Republic.
“People were just so friendly and outgoing, having pictures taken with each other,” she said. “You have to experience it to know what we felt like.”
In the end the experience was very satisfying and she got to cross off something from her bucket list.
“I can’t wait for the 2017 games in Auckland, New Zealand. We’ve already said we’re going to that one.”