We interviewed two of the Venezuelan team: Satoru Diaz Nakada and Mathias Miguel Lopez.
- How was the flight? Have you got used to our time-zone yet?
Satoru: We flew for a really long time. It took us 10 hours to get from Caracas to Madrid, and from there we flew to Istanbul, and then to Kazan. We were travelling for about three days. And we spent the whole time in the airports, never getting to see the cities!
Mathias: We almost died of boredom in Istanbul as there wasn’t any Wi-Fi. I think we adapted to the time difference in Turkey, because what else were we going to do but sleep?
- You must have been the happiest people on Earth when you finally arrived – have you managed to see much of Kazan?
Satoru: When we finally got into the Universiade Village we went straight to bed. We didn’t want to do anything, not even explore Kazan. All we’ve seen is the Kremlin, the historical centre and the waterfront as part of the tour.
Mathias: If we’d arrived earlier, we would have had a chance to see more of the city.
Satoru: The Village itself though is awesome. The best thing here is the food – it’s amazing.
- The first contest round is over – how did it go?
Satoru: Not exactly as I had hoped. That said, I’m doing better than I did last year in Kazakhstan.
- What are you hoping for at the Olympiad?
Mathias: The most important thing for us isn’t medals, but new experiences and meeting new people. We want to perform as well as we possibly can, for ourselves more than anything else.
Satoru: And also to see how good we are.
- Have you made any new friends yet?
Satoru: We’ve met the teams from Dominica, Chile, Colombia, Argentina, Mexico and Spain, so the Spanish-speaking guys, as well as the Syrians, Iranians and some others. I’m also ethnically Japanese, so I quickly found a common language with the Japanese team.
Mathias: We’re always chasing a ball about with the other South Americans. Playing football helps us get to know each other better.
- Does this mean we should we hold a mini Copa America at the Universiade Village? Between Venezuela, Chile, Colombia, Argentina, Mexico and the Dominican Republic, perhaps?
Satoru: That’s a great idea – I was at the Olympiad in Almaty last year and we worked out who was the best team at football there too.
Mathias: Yeah, that’s a brilliant idea. It would bring us all together, and I’d love to be the best at football, given that it doesn’t look likely I will be at the Olympiad itself. Though it’ll be harder for us, as there are only two of us…