Saturday, 25 January 2014

Moscow - Monday/Tuesday

So after our extremely good breakfast, we made our way to our rooms for some much needed sleep as it had felt that we had been awake for a week.

This was around 7am Russian time and we were required to be in the Red Square for some lunch at 1pm. It was Greig, Colin, Scott and John's first experience of Russia and the seriously impressive Red Square. The Russians have made a pretty solid effort of lighting the place up night. Well done.

Big screen showing the action during the opening game
During the lunch, the team discovered that if you are a pale, skinny, ginger looking kind of kid, Russia is the place to go if you want some female attention. For whatever reason, over the course of the flight, Scott had turned into some kind of Russian sex icon. There is no explanation.

This was in no danger of melting
After lunch we went for a walk through the very expensive shopping centre next to the Red Square. We kept our wallets firmly in our pockets on this one. It looked cool though.

We were supposed to have three 6 end game throughout the group stages of the tournament, but due to the temperature being a manhood shrinkingly cold -20 degrees, the ice was very brittle. It was decided that the opening game would only be for the cameras as there were quite a lot of craters on the pretty textured ice surface.

The media attention for the opening ceremony and first game was immense, there were about 40 photographers and several television cameras. A politician that was described as 'the John McCain of Russia' performed a very inspiring sounding speech which led to him being hounded by the paparazzi.

Russian TV screenshot from the opening ceremony. No idea what the subtitles say. 
There were a lot of people watching. More than you would expect to come to the final stages of a Scottish Championship, so it was a good atmosphere to be part of!

We were not actually told this, but I think our opening exhibition game was broadcast live on Russian TV. Which is not great, as the amount of shots we were able to make was even less than normal!

John was interviewed during the game. His words of wisdom are completely dubbed over, but if you are proficient in Russian, you can view it HERE. His piece starts 39 seconds in and lasts for around 10 seconds, which is longer than usual apparently.

After the exhibition game, we had a wee walk to a much more affordable shopping centre where we picked up some beer. Our guides encouraged Scott to pay for the beer, as they were certain that he would get ID'd for looking like a child. But it was 1-0 to Scott this time as he managed to slip through the net!

Back in the hotel, we played some cards with Gushue and De Cruz's team for a while and then called it a night to prep for the three 4 end games that were now planned for the following day.

This is how our games went!

Kirikov   00112 - 4
Edwards 11000 - 2

We were 2 up against Kerry Barr's nemesis, but the lead evaporated quite quickly. The game was taken to an extra where we were required to draw the 4ft for the win. A much more difficult shot than it sounds.

De Cruz 2220 - 6
Edwards 0004 - 4

Real bad to start with. Took a 4 in the last to at least make the score line look better.

Ali          1000 - 1
Edwards 0031 - 4

A nose hit for 3 turned into a really sweet double run back for 3 instead. You had to take what you can get.

This is how the table finished

The ice was as good as you could expect considering the conditions, and really, that was not why we were there!

So that left us 3rd in our section, just shy of the KO stages. That was the end of our curling commitments, and it was now time to socialise!

But that will come in another blog!

Team Edwards

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