Ireland in Turkey – Day 9

Saturday 14th March

Our second rest day of the week but the boys were still up early for training. The weather here today is snow, snow and more snow! As I said last night, the weather forecasters definitely got it right and to go with the snow, there is a lot of wind. The icicles which had melted in yesterday’s sun are back this morning with a vengeance. The boys had a really hard session this morning with Sean and Kenny putting them through their paces. When they returned to the hotel, they “went” to their rooms to rest! We all finished our lunch just after 1:00 pm and decided to head out to do a bit of snow boarding. It would appear that since the arrival of the package for William “The Turk” Fay, breakfast has now become around 1:00 pm!!!

We took ourselves off to the Tele-Ski café (aka the other bar) at the end of the slopes. We were all dressed for a bit of outside adventure but we decided that skiing and snow boarding were out of the question due to the total lack of visibility. As a result of the wind and snow, not the drink! We decided to go for a walk instead. If you ever believed that snow took the child out of children, you would want to see what it did to the adults!!! We were rolling around (cause we couldn’t stand) and sinking up to our…! We made a whole bunch of snow angels and just the general messing about you’d expect from a bunch of adults! We tried to take some photos but the camera froze while Sean Dooley impressed us all with his snowboarding ability.

Miraculously the boys appeared from their deep sleep! They got all dressed up for the snow! They were in t-shirts and tracksuit bottoms and runners for a snow ball fight!!! It wasn’t long before they were back in to get changed only to head back out once more. This time they had a shovel and the twinkle of a plan in their eyes!!???!! We later discovered that they were building their very own “Penalty Box.” With it being a rest day and all they had missed it! I have to say, it is a pleasure to watch the team bonding so well and having so much craic! We retired to the Tele-ski bar for a bit of Apres Snow. The only problem with this bar is that it closes at 4:30 pm so we had to re-locate to our regular haunt!

The wind howled all day, you would want to see the snow piling up against the windows. The Turkish team have their very own celebrity in the name of William Buzz Schneider. He’s the Director of Hockey in Turkey and the Head Coach of the U18 team for this tournament. For those of you who have no idea who we are talking about or haven’t googled him just yet, he was on the last American team to win a Gold Medal in the 1980 Olympics. He is also the person that the film “The Miracle Man” was made about. His son played him in that film. He was more than kind to our guys and posed for some photos and signed autographs for everybody.

The Icelandic staff regularly interface with us in the bar in the evening. They enjoy the craic as much as we do! Today really was a chill day because you just couldn’t do anything else!!! Roll on tomorrow and Bulgaria! It will be the longest day in more than one way as we will be going for nearly 26 hours…

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