The final blog from Dunja Antunovic from the World University Games in Belgrade, Serbia.
Greetings, this time not from Belgrade, but from Subotica: a town in Serbia, right by the Hungarian border. I came home from the Universiade on Wednesday morning with the fencing team, because I lost in the first round of the consolation draw and there was no need for me to stay. I played against a Japanese player, whose WTA ranking is around 600. Call it a bad draw. She had great hands, was fast and played very smart. I lost 6-2, 6-3. Anna won two matches in the consolation and finally lost to a player from Spain. Now our opponents are playing in the final of the consolation draw.
I cannot say I entirely left Belgrade, though. I am still reminiscing on the days spent in Belville, the athletes' village. I tend to look back at past events and reflect back on how that time shaped me. I am certain, as time goes by, I will become more aware of how this experience affected my life, but even now, a few days later, I know I am a more well-rounded person because of the experience of participating at this sports manifestation.
Chicago is a city where numerous cultures found home and DePaul prides itself in diversity as well, but being in such a closed space with people from 144 countries is a another level of diversity. I took a walk in my town yesterday and the people around me seemed so homogenous. One would think seeing others who look like you is comforting, but for me, it was quite disturbing at this time. Obviously, having lived in three countries is an indicator that I do not mind adjusting to different customs and assimilating into new cultures, but the University Games, both in Bangkok and especially here in Belgrade, reminded me again how truly rewarding it is to meet people who have different backgrounds. You cannot help but start caring about the country they come from or the sport they play.
I do not wish to speak on behalf of Kaca and Ancsi, but it seemed like they were enjoying the Games a lot as well. You will have to ask them about their experiences when we reuturn to school in September.
I am grateful for the opportunity to particpate in such an event, and though I did not do well in competition and therefore did not contribute to my team's success, it was a rewarding experience that will hardly leave my memory.
Thank you for reading this blog.