2018-04-05 03:11:00 CET

Exclusive: Sarah Pavan's Gold Coast blog

Canadian blocker Sarah Pavan writes exclusively for the Beach Major Series during the historic Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast

Can Sarah and teammate Melissa Humana-Paredes win gold on the Gold Coast?Can Sarah and teammate Melissa Humana-Paredes win gold on the Gold Coast?

Hey Beach Majors fans! It’s Sarah Pavan here, writing from the Land Down Under and the 2018 Commonwealth Games! Mel and I will be here for the next few weeks along with the Sams (Pedlow and Schachter), representing Canada on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia!

The Commonwealth Games are definitely a lesser-known multi-sport competition, and unless you are part of a Commonwealth country, you might not even know what I’m talking about! Basically, the Commonwealth is a group of 53 states, all of which (except two) were formerly part of the British Empire. If a member nation is not a former British colony, it must have a direct constitutional link with any current member-state. Every four years, the Commonwealth puts together the Commonwealth Games, which is the equivalent of the Olympic Games for some of the competing countries.

Opening Ceremonies Time! #GC2018 is about to begin!! 🇨🇦 #LiveTheMoment #ShareTheDream @cgc_jcc

825 Likes, 7 Comments - Sarah Pavan (@sarah_pavan) on Instagram: "Opening Ceremonies Time! #GC2018 is about to begin!! 🇨🇦 #LiveTheMoment #ShareTheDream @cgc_jcc"

I am slightly ashamed to admit that Mel and I had to look up some of the member territories involved in the Commonwealth Games because we didn’t know where they were! Do you know where the Isle of Man, Jersey, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Niue and Nauru are?

While the Commonwealth Games may not be as prestigious or famous as the Olympics, the participating nations do take it quite seriously, and Canadians back home will be following the action closely. Mel and I are so honoured to be here representing our country, not only because it is an incredible privilege to take part in something like this, but it is the very first time that beach volleyball is part of the Commonwealth Games! The opportunity to be the first-ever beach volleyball gold medallists is amazing!

Because it is still very early in the season, the Fort Lauderdale Major Series event was our main prep for this competition. It was so great to be able to compete against the best teams in the world to break in the 2018 season, and playing in the Florida heat definitely helped prepare us for the Australia temperatures and humidity! While we are still working towards our optimal competitive rhythm for the season, we are so glad that we have one high-level tournament under our belts before taking the court on the beautiful Coolangatta Beachfront Friday night. We can only hope that the centre court atmosphere will be as fun and exciting as the Red Bull Beach Arena!

Until then, Mel and I will be training and working out hard, and we will be getting up to some fun stuff on our down time. We’ve already tried a bunch of interesting foods, such as kangaroo, emu, and crocodile. We also went to a wildlife sanctuary, where we snuggled koalas, pet some kangaroos, and saw a bunch of other indigenous species. It was so fun! You can follow our adventures on Mel’s vlog and on our social media channels.

Sarah Pavan

We went to the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary today, where I made some new friends 😍🐨 This was an amazing experience, and we got to see so many interesting Australian animal species!! We don't get...

Now that you are probably on Commonwealth overload, here are some other fun facts to add to your Trivia Night arsenal:

  • The total Commonwealth population is 2.1 billion
  • The Commonwealth nations occupy 21% of the Earth’s land area
  • 71 nations and territories compete in the Games
  • The first Commonwealth Games were held in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada in 1930. The 2018 Games are the 21st.
  • Australia has won the most medals in the history of the Games, with 852. England is in second place, and Canada is third.

I’ll keep you posted on how things are going down here, but be sure to follow all of the Beach Majors coverage of the Commonwealth Games. We are so pumped to have them here with us, sharing the event as it unfolds!

Sarah

Sarah and Melissa begin their Gold Coast campaign with a game against Laite Nima and Iliseva Ratudina of Fiji on Friday at 9.30pm local time (AEST) (1.30pm CET / 7.30am EST)

Click here for your guide to this year's Commonwealth Games.

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