(PICTURE: Team Destroyers before getting destroyed.)
About a month ago Masumi handed me a flier for the Bondai-Atami Festival. I couldn't read anything on the flier but I didn't need to. On the paper was a picture of people doing tug-of-war on a sheet of ice. Yes, tug-of-war on ice. How freaking cool is that! Yeah, I know it is pretty cool. And do you know what is even cooler? The winning team of 5 got a prize of $1,000. Even without the golden prize I was sold on the event and had Masumi sign me up.
(PICTURE: Doesn't this look fun?!)
A week before the festival I was told that I was on one of two "foreigner teams." On the morning of the festival I met my teammates. We were a pretty global bunch: One American (me), one Australian, two Canadians, and one middle school student from China. Naturally we chose the strongest one amongst us to be the team captain...the middle school student from China.
(PICTURE: Notice my strategy of bracing myself against my teammate.)
I was definitely the most prepared person on my team for this event. I came with my $10 waterproof boots and my $10 snow pants I recently bought. On top of that, my skills as a hockey player would surely be beneficial to me in this event. But, uh, not so much. Turns out I was probably the worst person on my team. I'm not sure if it was the boots or what but I was slipping and sliding during every match. I was the anchor on my team but somehow kept ending up in the second or third position because I would slide too far forward. I of course also wiped out harder than anyone and currently am typing this blog post with significant ass pain.
(PICTURE: This was probably my third wipe-out. Notice that the three girls on my team are still pulling hard while I'm laying on the ground and the other guy is standing there without the rope in his hand.)
In the end, my squad made it to the second round where we lost to a team from an onsen. Overall our record was 3-2.
Here's a video I took of other foreigner team: