Sketches from Shenzhen

Long breaks in heptathlon competition schedules are perfect opportunities to put pen to paper. Watching lines flow out from behind a pen is an almost necessary mental release after being incredibly engaged during intense competition, in preparation for events still to come.

When a nap eluded me in the middle of Day 1 at the 2011 FISU World University Games, I reclined on some mats in the starkly white multi event room somewhere deep within the stadium, and drew.

The image above depicts my lounging socked feet and my name written repeatedly in Mandarin, during attempts to memorize the symbols. I’d be surprised if it still accurately says “zhan ni fo” as I was taught most closely resembles the phonetics of my name, and not some morphed unintelligible version…

The first several images in the gallery below are from the same training/competition log: wolves accompanying some track and field technical cues and my reflections from portions of the competition. The final few images are from another notebook: my view of the village and stadium from my apartment balcony (the stadium is the funky building in the left background), a bonsai tree from the Cultural Centre, and more Mandarin symbol-writing practice.

Before I knew it, wolves appeared in my training log during a quiet moment between events.
Ears and eyes are my favourites.

Prehep focus session…and another eye.

The (slightly warped) Athlete’s Village (stadium in the left background!) and a FISU luggage tag…Start Here, Make a Difference.
A pretty bonsai tree in the Cultural Centre where we learned some Mandarin.
Zhan ni fo

The FISU Summer Universiade is the second largest sporting event in the world (next only to the Olympics) with almost 10,000 athletes from 150 countries taking part. Every single detail, from the accreditation process upon arrival, to the apartments, cafeterias, opening and closing ceremonies, and the competitions themselves culminated in an incredible experience. For a glimpse into the atmosphere in the stadium, check out a past blog post.


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