Friday, December 4, 2009

Exclusive: Rob Valentino Checks in From South Africa

Rapids defender Rob Valentino, who, along with Rapids midfielder Ciaran O'Brien, is in South Africa with the Generation adidas tour, took time out from his trip to update fans back in Colorado with a brief diary of their activities.

Here's his first entry, from this morning:

"Hey everybody, I am here in Cape Town, South Africa getting ready to watch the World Cup draw today.

The draw is expected to have 300 million people watching, it is gonna be a crazy feeling to be right there amongst it all. The town is buzzing with the excitement of the draw.

The soccer has been great so far, we have a good group of guys on the Generation adidas team and we have been enjoying the time both on and off the field. Although it is our offseason, we are all here to win and represent our teams and ourselves well.

The weather is very warm but it is a nice change because I just saw that it is 9 degrees in Denver! So far we have gotten to see a lot of things here in Cape Town and previously in Johannesburg.

In Jo'burg we went to Nelson Mandela's first house and toured that, which was amazing. We also went to the Apartheid Museum and that was a mind-blowing experience. We saw the size of the cell that Mandela was in. It was not much bigger than a bathroom stall.

On the last day in Jo'burg we went to a poorer area of town and put on a clinic. This was the most humbling experience of my life. After something like that you realize how blessed we are to have the things in our life. Not huge things, but little things like socks, shoes, t-shirts, food, water, a bed....I could go on forever. These people do not live with much; I was very happy that we got to give back like that.

We then went on to Cape Town. Yesterday we got to go on a safari and that was great...we saw elephants, zebras, lions, cheetahs and everything you can think of we saw. It was awesome.

Overall I am very thankful for this opportunity with Generation adidas. Not just the sights we've experienced, but getting the chance to play games and to be training right now is awesome. This has been a frustrating year for Colorado, and this trip will mark us putting that behind us and the beginning of many more good things to come going forward.

If you guys have any questions, feel free to post them here and ask me anything. I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday seasons with their loved ones!"

-Rob Valentino


Nick Thomas said...

Isn't it a fact that O'Brien did not make the trip because of injury?

Therese said...

Any advice for what to see for someone heading to Cape Town next June for a few games?