2018-04-18 09:27:00 CET

Commonwealth Games Success!

Melissa and I are so excited about our Gold Coast victory

After an exciting few days of playoffs, the Commonwealth Games beach volleyball competition has officially come to an end. While things may have started a little slow in the group phase, I think the fans definitely got their money’s worth during the final days of the tournament. Vanuatu and Australia had a serious battle in one of the women’s semifinal matches, with Australia taking control of the third set after a back and forth battle in the first two. The New Zealand men almost pulled off a huge comeback in set one against Canada in one of the men’s semifinal matchups, coming back from being down 14-20 in the first to narrowly losing it 19-21.

The semifinals were just a preview for what was to come on Thursday night during the medal matches though, and as promised, the gold medal matches were the best of the tournament. The men’s final went the distance, with Australia coming out on top over Canada 18-16 in the third set. The women’s final was just as exciting with strong play from both sides, but Mel and I came out on top of Australia 21-19, 22-20 to win gold. 

There is something so special about the multi-sport games experience. Maybe it’s the “Big Team” atmosphere of cheering for your country and building the medal count. Maybe it’s that we are playing for nothing other than pride and for our country. Without prize money involved, every point and every action become about heart and grit and just wanting it more than your competitors do. It’s about something much bigger than ourselves.

Whatever magic multi-sport games hold, the final days of the Commonwealth Games were full of it, and it was clear that the teams were laying everything they had on the line to be the first-ever Commonwealth Games beach volleyball gold medalists. Fans from all over the world got a lot of excitement from the final days of competition, but ultimately, the Australian men and Canadian women got the history-making bragging rights. 

 

Commonwealth Games GOLD!!! 🥇 So honored to be the first beach volleyball gold medalists in Commonwealth history! ✨ Thank you all so much for your unwavering support ❤️ #gc2018 #gc2018beachvolleyball #LiveTheMoment #ShareTheDream 🐨

A post shared by Sarah Pavan (@sarah_pavan) on

Melissa and I are so excited about our Gold Coast victory, and it wasn’t until the final point had been played that we realized just how important these games are to our country. The past couple of days have been lived in a dream-like state, and we are ecstatic at the out-pouring of support we have received, not only from our countrymen, but from people all over the Athlete’s Village and the Gold Coast. It seems like absolutely everyone was tuned in to the beach volleyball final. That is amazing!

It has been a long time coming for beach volleyball to make an appearance at the Commonwealth Games, but I think that our sport made quite the impression. With sold-out crowds at every match and people all over the world tuning in, beach volleyball was arguably one of the best events at the Games. The participating athletes weren’t just there to win gold, though. We were there as ambassadors and advocates for the sport because even with the great showing beach volleyball had here on the Gold Coast, it is still undecided whether or not we will be included in the next Commonwealth Games. We were playing to show that we deserve to be included in the future Commonwealth Games, and to continue growing the sport all over the world.

I am so happy that Melissa and I were able to compete in this event, and it is an experience we will both cherish forever. We can only hope that we will have the opportunity to represent Canada again in 4 years time in Birmingham!

In closing, if you are ever planning on visiting Australia, here are a few things I have learned that will undoubtedly make your stay 100% better :)

  • Don’t hesitate to eat crocodile if you’re in a bind…. or if you’re not in a bind, but just want a snack. It’s sooooo delicious! Emu and kangaroo work too, but crocodile is the best.
  • NEVER eat Vegemite! Trust me.
  • Koalas are soft, but kangaroos are softer.
  • Don’t expect someone to keep talking if they say, “Sweet as!” You’ll just look ridiculous. It’s actually an expression that means “cool” or “right”. 
  • Look to the right before crossing the street. The number of times I almost got hit by a car by looking left first is cause for concern.
  • Australians appreciate good sport, no matter who is performing. They are a pleasure to play in front of.
     

Thanks for letting me share my Commonwealth Games experience with you all!! I will be seeing you in Gstaad in a few months’ time!!

Sarah

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